clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Colorado’s 2015 science and social studies test results in eight graphs

Students Maliah and Kayla at the Imaginarium's Summer Lab camp at Columbine Elementary School.
Students Maliah and Kayla at the Imaginarium's Summer Lab camp at Columbine Elementary School.
Susan Gonzalez/Chalkbeat

The Colorado Department of Education today released the results from the state’s social studies and science tests that some elementary and middle school students took this spring.

Generally, scores were up this year, which was only the second times the tests have ever been give. But eighth grade students did lose ground in science.

You can read our story about the results here. And search a database for your school’s scores here. But let’s take a look at the numbers in eight graphs. Each graph shows the percentage of students who met or exceeded expectations. Those students are considered to have either a “strong” or “distinguished” command of the content on the test and are on track for life after high school.

Most of the state’s largest districts followed state trends in both science and social studies. Boulder led the pack in fifth grade science tests. While Podure eighth grades did the best on their science tests.

None of the state’s largest school districts lost ground in social studies.

Even though some ground was lost, students in large school districts with high free- or reduced-lunch rates in the Pikes Peak Region seemed to do better than their counter parts across the state.

In a bit of shock, Denver’s largest — and arguably most successful — charter network DSST lost the most ground of any of the city’s middle schools in eighth grade science. The network’s middle school are still among the district’ best, its leaders point out. Meanwhile KIPP Sunshine made biggest gains, jumping nearly 10 percentage points.

Denver’s biggest gains and losses on the fourth grade social studies test all came from district-run schools. The losses at Whittier K-8, in northeast Denver, were so great that not a single fourth grader passed the state’s proficiency bar on the social studies test.

While three out of every 10 Asian students in Colorado met the state’s expectations on the social studies test this year, fewer than one out of every 10 Latino or black students did.

Hispanic eighth graders lost more ground than any other ethnic group of students. On average, 3 percentage points were lost among Hispanic students while other ethnic groups saw only a 2 point drop.

The Julesburg school district, in Colorado’s most northeastern corner, lost the most ground on science tests this year compared to its peers on the state’s accountability watch list. The dramatic swing is likely due in part to the small size of the school district. Meanwhile, fifth graders in the Sheridan School District, southeast of Denver, made the biggest gains of 9 percentage points.

Data source: Colorado Department of Education. Graphics by Sarah Glen.

The COVID-19 outbreak is changing our daily reality

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn't possible without your help.

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat Colorado

Sign up for our newsletter.