Jeffco Schools report on fall test results

Academic achievement was better than last year, but still lags pre-pandemic levels

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 12/28/21

During the Dec. 15 Jeffco Schools Board of Education study session, results of district test scores for the fall semester were presented to the board by District staff. Acadience, MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) and Social, Emotional and Behavioral (SEB) Screener results were discussed.

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Jeffco Schools report on fall test results

Academic achievement was better than last year, but still lags pre-pandemic levels

Posted

During the Dec. 15 Jeffco Schools Board of Education study session, results of district test scores for the fall semester were presented to the board by District staff. Acadience, MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) and Social, Emotional and Behavioral (SEB) Screener results were discussed.

This article will cover the academic results. SEB Screener results will be the topic of future reporting. Data in this reporting is drawn from the District’s presentation.

Carol Eaton, executive director of Instructional Data Services, and Justin Houck, director of Instructional Assessment, started things off with the academic parts of the presentation. Eaton said the district has seen somewhat of a rebound from last year’s results, tempered by the fact that scores are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. Houck said achievement gaps within student groups persist, and the District is continuing to monitor what it knows about them and attempting to address them at the school and system level.

MAP and Acadience test administration is still not back to normal. Some students still tested remotely, but fewer than in Fall in 2020. MAP participation was higher than last year, but agin, not black to pre-pandemic levels. 

Acadience is a K-3 skills-based reading assessment, administered three times per year. The District uses four performance levels: Well Below Benchmark, Below Benchmark, At Benchmark and Above Benchmark to determine student performance.

The Well Below Benchmark category, indicates a student has 10% - 20% likelihood of achieving subsequent early literacy goals and will likely need intensive support. Below Benchmark indicates 40%-60% likelihood of achieving subsequent early literacy goals and will likely need strategic support. At Benchmark indicates 70%-85% likelihood of achieving subsequent early literacy goals and will likely need core support. Above Benchmark indicates 90%-99% likelihood of achieving subsequent early literacy goals and will likely need more advanced skills in addition to core support. 

Acadience Results

The Fall 2021 Beginning-of-Year performance trend for grades K-3 combined show an overall increase in scores compared to last year, but still lagging behind 2019, pre-pandemic results. 

For example, scores in the Well Below Benchmark category were at 23% — that’s down from last year’s 28%, but still four percentage points below the 19% from 2019. 

When added together, 65% of students scored in the At Benchmark and Above Benchmark categories in Fall 2021, compared to 58% last year. In 2019, 69% of students who took the test scored in those two categories.

Broken down by grade, the biggest improvement in achievement, compared to last year came from Grade 1, with Above Benchmark scores increasing from 26% last year to 41% this year. Well Below Benchmark scores fell from 42% in Fall 2020 to 29% this year. However, this year’s Well Below Benchmark scores are still 7% higher than 2019 numbers.

Overall, 20,052 students (98% of those eligible) took the Acadience tests.

According to the presentation performance gaps still exist among gender, students with disabilities and English language learners.

MAP

MAP is an adaptive reading and math test given three times per year. The reading test is given to all students grades 3-10. Math is given to grades 3-8 and all high school students taking algebra 1, geometry or an equivalent course. There are five performance levels — High; High Average; Average; Low Average and Low, used in scoring. MAP looks at how Jeffco students score compared to other students across the nation.

Fall 2021 MAP Reading results for elementary students saw 50% of students score in the High and High Average levels, with 19% scoring at the Average level. A combined 30% of students scored at the Low Average and Low levels.

Math scores were lower with 39% of students scoring at the High and High Average levels, 22% at Average and a combined 40% scoring at the Low Average and Low levels.

Middle school students had reading scores of 50% at the High and High Average levels, 21% at Average and roughly 30% of students scoring at the Low Average and Low levels.

Middle School Math scores (like elementary results) were lower on average than reading scores, with 40% at High and High Average level, 22% Average and 39% at Low Average and Low levels.

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