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What you need to know about CMAS and the new PARCC tests

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Colorado Measures of Academic Success/PARCC results for the Cherry Creek School District outpaced the state averages in all content areas on the tests given in the spring of 2015.

The results also mirrored the trends seen in the statewide outcomes. For example, fourth grade scores in English Language Arts in the district and statewide were the highest of all grades and subjects. Eighth grade scores in Math were the lowest.

"While we are pleased that students in Cherry Creek Schools exceeded their peers statewide, these results show that we still have work to do," said Dr. Judy Skupa, assistant superintendent of performance improvement. "They also give us valuable information about what strategies are working and where we need to add more focus."

Colorado scores, like all other states where the PARCC tests were given, were much lower than previous state assessments. But, because the CMAS/PARCC tests were given for the first time last spring, direct comparisons to past tests can't be made.

The tests were given on computers instead of the old paper and pencil versions. The online tests were designed to measure a more complex set of skills including critical thinking, persuasive writing and problem solving using tools not available with paper tests.

Because the last spring's scores are being released so much later than past state assessments like CSAP and TCAP, we will need to wait until we receive the 2016 scores to establish a baseline from which we can make adjustments in our curriculum. Once we see the results from 2017, we will be able to determine growth trends for students and schools.

You will be receiving the results for your child in late January. This year's scores will be used to identify those areas where your child is doing well and what we need to do to ensure that he or she continues to be challenged and stay on a path to success. We also will be able to determine those areas where your child may need extra support to improve.

As you review these scores, we would like you to keep a few things in mind.

First, the scores do not necessarily mean that your child is learning less, or that your child's school is doing a poor job of educating students.  While your school and your child's test scores may be lower than what you expected, this is not permanent. It is likely that scores will start rising again as students and teachers get used to the higher standards and become better prepared to meet the more challenging material.

Secondly, the new tests are, for the first time, fully aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards, which are more rigorous and set higher expectations for students. The standards are designed to provide a roadmap to help all students prepare for success in college and career.

In the meantime, we will continue to use other district assessments, classwork and teacher's observations to ensure that your child's needs are being addressed.  

With change comes some growing pains, and adjustment to change of any kind takes time. During this time of adjustment, the state is hitting pause on the accountability clock and the scores will not be used for district or school accreditation ratings or for teacher evaluations.

And, while the tests are very useful for parents and educators to help ensure that all students have the opportunity and resources needed to prepare them for post-secondary success, the scores will not affect students' grades or be part of transcripts they submit for college admission.

English Language Arts Elementary School Results.pdf

English Language Arts Middle School Results.pdf

English Language Arts High School Results.pdf.pdf

Math Elementary School Results.pdf

English Language Arts Middle School Results.pdf

English Language Arts High School Results.pdf.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact the principal at your child's school.

 

Posted 11/10/2015 10:04 AM
Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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