Colorado Springs has a love-hate relationship with school test scores. They love them when the news is good, or when they assist in making a good school decision, and hate them when they are bad. The Gazette released the unofficial 3rd grade reading CSAP test scores in this morning’s paper, and as usual, it was a somewhat mixed bag. The top 3 main districts were once again 38 (Lewis Palmer) at 90%, 12 (Cheyenne Mountain) at 89% and 20 (Academy) at 87%. Manitou (14) at 84% and Woodland Park at 84% also did very well, but aren’t really very big districts.
I will admit that I am into the numbers a bit. The state average is 70% of 3rd graders are proficient readers. All of the area’s main districts were at or above the state average, except Harrison, D2, which was only 59% reading proficient. That means in a class of 25 3rd graders, roughly 10 kids were not proficient readers. That compares with D20, 12 or 38 where the proficiency levels are all around 87- 90% where only 2 or 3 kids would not be proficient readers.
In the larger districts, what is striking, is how much disparity can exist between schools. District 11 (Colorado Springs) has schools ranging from 95% proficient (way to go Madison, huge jump!) to a low of Rogers Elementary school at only 51%. D11 had 12 schools with proficiency above 80%! Harrison D2 saw a high of 85% at Wildflower Elementary, and low of 25% at Monterey Elementary (a huge drop from last year). Interestingly enough, there were only 3 schools above the state average in D2, and 5 that were at or below 50%.
A good friend of ours, Jim Kretchman (who is considered with his wife Mary the co- founder of the Classical Academy in D20 and founders of Preschool Partners) is fond of saying something along the lines of “there is really no such thing as ‘the best’ school, only ‘the best’ school for your child”. I guess the same can be said about school districts.