PSD students outperform peers across the state on standardized tests

Poudre School District students continued to perform at higher levels than their counterparts across the state on the 2018 Colorado Measures of Academic Success exams (CMAS). 

The tests, administered last spring, assess performance in English Language Arts and Mathematics in grades 3-8 as well as Social Studies and Science in select grades. Student performance on the PSAT 9, PSAT 10, and SAT were also released with the standardized test scores.

Highlights from this year’s assessments include: 

  • The percentage of PSD students who met or exceeded benchmarks surpassed the state’s average in all but one test.
  • The percent of PSD students who met or exceeded benchmarks increased over last year’s numbers in all but one category. 
  • Both elementary and middle schools saw overall improvement in math and English Language Arts.
  • Six of PSD’s ten middle schools increased student achievement in both math and English Language Arts. 

This is the fourth year students in Colorado have taken the CMAS English Language Arts and Math tests. The consistent performance demonstrates the dedication of PSD students and teachers.

 

“These test scores speak to the hard work of our teachers and students in classrooms across the District,” PSD Superintendent Dr. Sandra Smyser said. “These tests serve as an important tool as we look for opportunities for growth. We are always striving to provide our students with the best education possible.” 


Student CMAS scores are placed into five categories: does not meet expectations, partially met expectations, approached expectations, met expectations and exceeded expectations. Students who meet or exceed expectations are performing at or above grade level in the subject area on the standards being tested.  

Student Achievement
PSD showed gains in almost every subject area and on almost every test. When comparing a specific grade level from year to year, results reflect how different groups of students perform on the same assessment. 

•    Student performance in fifth- and seventh-grade math improved, as did performance in algebra. There was a slight dip in the percent of students who met or exceeded benchmarks in third- and sixth-grade math. Student performance in math tests in other grades was relatively stable compared to last year. 

•    Performance in English Language Arts increased in third through seventh grade. Compared to last year, slightly fewer eighth grade students met or exceeded benchmarks in English Language Arts. 

 

Celebrations:

•    Beattie, Dunn, Johnson, Kruse, Putnam, Rice and Traut increased student performance in both math and English Language Arts for the second year in a row.

•    McGraw, Stove Prairie and Zach increased student achievement in English Language Arts for the second consecutive year.

•    Webber Middle School increased student achievement in math and English Language Arts for the second year in a row.

•    Blevins, Cache La Poudre, Kinard, Lesher , Preston and Webber middle schools increased student performance in math and English Language Arts compared to last year.

 

Colorado Growth Model
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) also released academic growth data for districts. The Academic Growth Model is the cornerstone of the state’s accountability system, and measures individual student growth relative to other students statewide in the same grade (based on who began the school year at a similar academic starting point.)
 
Academic growth measures students’ progress
When using the Colorado Growth Model, the district typically looks at the district-wide median growth percentiles. The median growth percentiles are a methods of comparing academic growth for schools and districts that serve different populations of students. Any median that exceeds the state norm of 50 is considered evidence that Poudre School District students obtained levels of academic growth that exceeded their academic peers statewide.

PSD's 2018 growth percentiles remain high overall as evidenced by the elementary English Language Arts and mathematics and middle school mathematics percentiles above 50. 


PSAT and SAT
PSAT scores indicate that PSD students outperformed their counterparts across the state and that most are on track for college success. 

For both the PSAT 8/9 taken by ninth graders and the PSAT 10 taken by tenth graders, the majority of PSD students met or exceeded benchmarks.

  • Nearly 80 percent of ninth graders who took the PSAT met or exceeded benchmarks in evidence-based reading and writing and 64 percent met the benchmarks in math.
  • More than 80 percent of tenth graders who took the PSAT met the evidence-based reading and writing benchmark and 62 percent met the benchmark for math. 

Meeting these benchmarks indicates a 75 percent likelihood of achieving at least a C in a set of first-semester, credit-bearing college courses.

 

Exhibits

English Language Arts

CMAS English Language Arts: Percentage met or exceeded expectations grades 3 - 8.

Grade Level

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

State 2017-18

Grade 3

50%

54%

57%

40%

Grade 4

58%

61%

63%

46%

Grade 5

59%

60%

63%

47%

Grade 6

53%

53%

56%

43%

Grade 7

57%

53%

57%

47%

Grade 8

57%

56%

54%

44%

 

Graph of CMAS Language Arts Grades 3-8 percentages of met or exceeded expectation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mathematics

CMAS Math: Percentage of students who met/exceeded expectations - grades 3-8.

Grade Level

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

State

2017-18

Grade 3

50%

57%

55%

39%

Grade 4

48%

52%

52%

34%

Grade 5

49%

51%

55%

36%

Grade 6

45%

45%

44%

30%

Grade 7 - includes
students who
took grade 7 math
and algebra 1

41%

41%

45%

Not available -
Results reported by test rather than grade

Grade 8 - includes
students who
took grade 8 math,
 geometry and algebra 1

46%

46%

48%

Not available -
Results reported by test rather than grade

Algebra 1

63%

71%

85%

75%

Geometry

85%

88%

88%

86%

 

Graph of CMAS Math Grades 3-8 percentages of met or exceeded expectation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PSD CMAS Percentages by School  (please click on images to zoom in)

 

Chart of PSD elementary schools CMAS English Language Arts by school. Percent met/exceeded by subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chart of PSD middle and high schools -  CMAS English Language Arts by school and year. Percent met/exceeded by subject.