• Academic Gains Continue in District 50


    For the fourth consecutive year, third grade reading results improved in Adams County School District 50, making it the only metro area school district to show improvement each and every school year. The latest results of Colorado’s Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) were released Tuesday, May 6.

    The percentage of third grade students in District 50 reading at the proficient or advanced level increased 6 points in the most recent test period while the statewide average dropped one point. Over the past four years, District scores have risen 16 points, while the state has remained relatively flat. (See chart below that captures results since 1998).

    “These results are very exciting for us, because they confirm that our move to a competency based system is paying off,” said Superintendent Pam Swanson. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but four consecutive years of growth show that our requirement that every child fully understand a learning target before moving to the next level was the right decision for our children.”

    Adams County School District 50’s Competency Based System (CBS) has received international attention for its dramatic reform effort that seeks to end social promotion and ensure that all high school graduates are prepared for the 21st century. Under the CBS model, students only move to the next learning level when they are able to show competence of learning targets. CBS allows some students to move faster than their peers while others can take the needed time to fully comprehend a subject matter and fill in gaps in their learning. The third graders tested this year began as kindergarten students the year CBS was unveiled in the District.

    “When we look at standardized testing and scores, it’s easy to get bogged down in statistics and percentages, but it’s important to remember that behind the numbers are individual students and families, and our system never loses sight of that fact,” said Swanson. “I want to thank our teachers, staff and students for their hard work. This has been a collaborative effort and while we celebrate these results, we all know that we still have work to do.”

    TCAP results from all grade levels and subjects will be released in August.

    District 50’s positive results received a lot of media attention:

    Denver Post

    Chalkbeat Colorado

    Colorado Public Radio

    TCAP Chart

    Posted May 8, 2014