Weld Re-8 posts gains on TCAP tests

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By Ben Wiebesiek and Christopher Harrop

FORT LUPTON — The Colorado Department of Education released TCAP results for the 2012-13 school year earlier this month, and at the state level, local students demonstrated improved scores in all of the four subject areas: reading, writing, science and math.
    And in several categories, such as math, Weld Re-8 students posted large gains in some grades.
    For reading, the number of Colorado students who scored proficient or advanced increased at all grade levels in 2013 by 0.2 percent. The reading results for grades three and 10 improved by at least 3 percentage points over the six-year period between 2008 and 2013.
    For the district, the percentage of students who scored proficient/advanced on the 2013 varied by grade level. While the third-grade scores dipped from 61.8 percent proficient/advanced last year to 58.1 percent this year, the cohort of fourth graders shot their scores up from 39.8 percent last year to 48.9 percent this year, a 9.1-percent climb.
    This flip in scores repeated for 9th and 10th grade proficient/advanced percentages in reading. For ninth grade, students scoring proficient/advanced dropped 8 percentage points from 53.1 percent in 2012, to 45.1 percent in 2013. Tenth grade scores reversed this trend with a 16.4 percent jump in proficient/advanced scores from 45.2 percent in 2012 to 61.6 percent this year. The state average was 67.7 and 69.6 respectively for grades nine and 10.
    In the writing assessments, the percentage of Colorado students scoring proficient or advanced increased from 2012 across all grade levels by one percent. The percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in 2013 increased from 2012 in five grade: fourth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th. Three grade levels saw declines at the state level: third, fifth and seventh.
    In Fort Lupton, the 10th graders again posted the largest gains for writing. Last year, the percentage of proficient/advanced students was 20.5 percent. A year later, a new cohort of 10th-graders scored 32.6 percent proficient/advanced, which was a 12.1 percent increase. Fourth-graders at Twombly also posted a double-digit increase (10.9 percent) over last year’s proficient/advanced percentage. But other grades muddied the waters, and the third grade proficient/advanced scores were 9.9 percent lower in 2013.
    For mathematics, the TCAP results posted gains for all Colorado grades over the previous year for proficient/advanced by 0.9 percent. The math results for grades four, seven, eight and 10 improved by at least three percentage points.
    Fort Lupton Middle School improved its math scores significantly with a nearly twenty percent increase in seventh and eighth graders scoring proficient or advanced. But the very next grade, 9, slipped 9.5 percent with 26.5 percent of students scoring proficient/advanced last year and 17 percent of ninth graders scoring proficient/advanced this year.
    The state only has three grades complete the TCAP exam for the science portion: fifth, eighth and 10th grade. On the 2013 science assessments, the percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced increased from 2012 across all grade levels by 1.5 percent. The percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced on the 2013 science TCAP increased from 2012 in grades 8 and 10. The science results for grades 5, 8 and 10 improved by at least three percentage points over the five-year period between 2008 and 2013.
    There were none of the double-digit swings for science in Weld Re-8. For fifth grade, the district increased its percentage of students scoring proficient/advanced by 0.3 percent. 26.6 percent of eighth graders scored proficient or advanced this year, compared to 29.7 percent last year, and in 10th grade, the score was 27.5 proficient/advanced this year versus 28.3 percent last year.
    The Colorado Department of Education also broke down the state numbers by race and other criteria, including the number of students receiving free-and-reduced lunches through the district.
    On the 2013 reading, writing, mathematics and science TCAP, the percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced was lower for students eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch (FRL) than for students not eligible for FRL across all grades. The largest gap between eligible and non-eligible students was in science (37 percent) and the smallest gap was in Mathematics (25.4 percent). The percentage of students eligible for FRL who scored Proficient or Advanced increased from 2012 to 2013 in the following grades: Reading, grades four, five, six, eight, nine and 10; Writing, grades four, six, eight, nine and 10; Mathematics, all grades; and Science, all grades.

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.