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Despite gain, most Colorado students not meeting academic standards

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Posted at 1:25 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 01:58:56-04

DENVER – While academic achievement has improved, the majority of Colorado students are still not meeting state expectations when it comes to math and English proficiency, according to data from the 2017 administration of statewide assessments released Thursday.

The report posted on the Colorado Department of Education’s website shows a slight bump in student performance in English, with 42 percent of students meeting state standards. The math assessment saw similar gains, with 33 percent meeting expectations.

Practice SAT exam results remained steady. Colorado 10th graders continue to score slightly higher in reading, writing and math proficiency than the national average.

However, assessment data revealed the struggle to close the achievement gap among disadvantaged students continues. Performance improved for many groups across many grades, but the persistent gaps between the groups did not narrow much.

Education officials praised the results but admitted more work needs to be done to help minority students catch up with their white counterparts.

“Our focus on our historically disadvantaged students must remain a top priority. In too many cases, those groups are not showing gains at a pace that will allow them to catch up, so CDE will increase our focus on providing support to our districts and schools to help them with this challenge in the next few years,” said Colorado Education Commissioner, Katy Anthes.

Approximately 550,000 students took the PARCC math and English tests last spring, which are the only common academic measurement for all students in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Education said participation in the tests improved this year.

Some of the area’s largest school districts touted achievements from Thursday’s release, including Denver Public Schools. The district said it has three of the top four performing schools in SAT College Admission results.