When it Comes to State Test Scores, It’s all in How One Views the Numbers

The 2015 scores on statewide elementary and middle school social studies and science tests improved by a tad over 2014, according to results released by the Department of Education last week.

Both sets of tests were new in 2014, so 2015 provided the first year-to-year comparisons.

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Colorado Dept. of Education

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The one exception to the modest improvement was provided by the 8th grade science test, where the percentage of students meeting state expectations dropped by 3.5 points.

But even the notations of improvement could be considered as walking on the sunny side of the street.

For example, in science, 34.8 percent of 5th graders scored high enough to be considered on track, which suggests that more than 65 percent did not. For 8th graders, only 29 percent were where they needed to be, meaning that some 71 percent were not.

In any event, our friends at Chalkbeat Colorado, the education journalism initiative, produced an excellent report on the results, including a comprehensive main story that broke the results down by gender, ethnicity, poverty and other factors, as well as the performances of the largest 20 districts.

You can see that here.

Chalkbeat also produced eight graphs showing aggregate test results, as well as results broken out by race, by the 10 largest districts and the six districts with the highest free-and-reduced lunch percentages. Those are available here.

And Chalkbeat’s custom database, which can be accessed here, allows users to search by district, school, grade and subject.

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