Tag Archives: Colorado Student Assessment Program

"Brain Breaks" Not Enough for "Boy Crisis" — More School Choice, Too

According to the Rocky Mountain News, some educators in the Denver area – at least at one elementary school – are starting to adjust the school day to help boys: A not-so-quiet revolution is taking place in reading and writing instruction inside some classrooms at Hackberry Hill Elementary School in Arvada. Students are encouraged to get up and move, stretch and talk about their work every 20 minutes or so. Brain breaks, Principal Warren Blair calls them. In some cases, boys are also allowed to write about things that might have previously been frowned upon — bodily functions come to mind, or anything with a good gross-out factor. It’s part of the school’s attempts to address a global phenomenon, reinforced by recently released Colorado Student Assessment Program test results, showing boys consistently scoring lower than girls in reading and writing. Hey, I like this idea of a brain break. Sometimes you have to be creative to find ways to address the needs of different students. But I was left wondering what Hackberry Hill parents think of the idea. It would be interesting to see what moms and dads think. After all, they know their kids best. In writing about the […]


Student Growth Model Enlightens Public … Financial Transparency Next?

More clear, accurate, available and usable information about public education is a good thing – good for parents, teachers, policy makers, and taxpayers — and ultimately for students like me. One good example of a step forward in this area is the Colorado Department of Education (CDE)’s new student growth model, featured in today’s Denver Post: The model shows how students have grown academically compared with peers in the same grades with similar scores on the Colorado Student Assessment Program over the past two years. “The bottom line is, the model tells us how much growth the child has made and whether that growth is good enough to meet state standards,” said Richard Wenning, associate education commissioner. Other states have adopted growth models, but Colorado is the nation’s first to use percentiles to describe the growth, Wenning said. Fortunately, the growth model doesn’t just compare students with their peers. It also uses an objective standard:


New CSAP Scores Tell Colorado It's Time to Advance in School Reform

There’s a big hubbub today about CSAP results being announced. For those of you who don’t know, CSAP stands for Colorado Student Assessment Program – it’s the battery of tests in reading, writing, math, and science that help people to see how well schools and students are performing. The folks in the Education Policy Center and others like them get really excited on days like this, because of all the new information and what story it might tell. I guess this year is really special, because a new “growth model” has been introduced that allows for better measurement of individual student and school progress from year to year. Me? I haven’t had to take any CSAPs yet – frankly, I could do without tests altogether. But I understand why many people might think they are important. Anyway, the Rocky Mountain News has the basic rundown on the latest CSAP scores, and once again, hoped-for progress is not being achieved: Results were up in 11 of the 24 tests given in reading, writing and math in grades 3 through 10. Scores were down in seven tests and unchanged in six. Reading and math scores were generally up, with more grades seeing […]