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Academy ACL only Westside school to top state, district averages in annual standardized testing

       Other than the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning, Westside schools did not impress in last spring's annual statewide testing.
       Still, some improvement was shown from last year, and the other Westside schools were not too far below the state average - although that average was well south of 50 percent in terms of scores meant to reflect student readiness for college.
       Testing results for grades 5 and 8 in science and for grades 4 and 7 in social studies were released July 16 by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The assessment format, in its second year, is called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS).
       In the spring testing, Academy ACL led all District 11 schools in science for grades 5 and 8 and
Students, parents and staff participate in a "readathon" event that included the main hallway at Academy ACL in 2013.
Westside Pioneer file photo
was second in social studies for grade 7 and fourth for grade 4.
       In CMAS, such rankings are based on the percentage of students whose test answers earn the CDE-defined level of “strong and distinguished.” Those who do so, according to a CDE press release, are “on track for being college and career ready.”
       Here are the strong/distinguished percentages posted by Academy ACL students in each category (the percent change from 2014, up or down, is in parentheses):
       · Science - fifth grade, 63.6 (+10.3); eighth grade, 70.6 (+11.8).
       · Social studies - fourth grade, 31.0 (+13.9); seventh grade, 36.7 (-23.3).
       With about 280 students, AcademyACL is a K-8 charter at 2510 N. Chestnut St. that focuses on gifted students.
       Its 70.6 score was especially striking - over two times higher than the state average score in eighth-grade science.
       AcademyACL was also the only Westside school to score above the average in all categories for state as well as D-11 schools. (Note: All the D-11 averages were worse than the state's.)
       The state/district average percentages were as follows:
       - Science - fifth grade, 34.8 (state) and 28.0 (district); eighth grade, 29.0 (state) and 23.5 (district).
       - Social studies - fourth grade, 21.8 (state) and 13.1 (district); seventh grade, 17.6 (state) and 13.2 (district).
       Below is a categorized list showing the scores for the other Westside schools. Those better than the state average in a category are shown in bold; those above the district average are in italics. (Percent changes from 2014 are in parentheses.)
       FIFTH GRADE SCIENCE
       - Bristol, 27.3 (-6.1).
       - Buena Vista, 31.6 (+2.2).
       - Howbert, 40.4 (+1.2).
       - Jackson, 19.6 (-1.5).
       - Midland, 20.0 (+11.7).
       - West (elementary), 14.3 (+1.5).
       - Mountain Song (state-chartered K-7), 6.3 (-27.1).
       EIGHTH GRADE SCIENCE
       - Holmes, 31.1 (-7.2).
       - West (middle), 17.5 (-7.2).
       FOURTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES
       - Bristol, 20.0 (+13.8).
       - Buena Vista, 5.3 (+5.3).
       - Howbert, 7.1 (-16.9).
       - Jackson, 3.3 (-0.3)
       - Midland, 20.0 (+5.0)
       - West (elementary), 4.1 (-0.7).
       - Mountain Song, 17.6 (17.6).
       SEVENTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES
       - Holmes, 14.3 (-11.2).
       - West (middle), 13.5 (-1.7).
       - Mountain Song, no results.
       This is the second year for the statewide CMAS testing and the first to use computers entirely. The method replaced paper-and-pencil because the new format fosters “increased student engagement," the CDE press release states.
       Developed using the nationwide Common Core standards, CMAS is intended to “outline the concepts and skills, including the 21st century skills, that students need to be successful in the current grade and to make academic progress from year to year,“ the release adds.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/16/15; Schools: General)

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