CMAS performance diverged across and within school districts

BY FREDA MIKLIN
GOVERNMENTAL REPORTER

The results from the Spring 2022 Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) testing, administered by the state board of education annually, except during the 2019-2020 school year when the pandemic hit, varied widely.

CMAS tests are administered to all public-school students in grades three to eight in mathematics and English Language Arts (English). Private schools are not required to participate in CMAS testing and they generally choose not to do so. 

Statewide, 44% of public-school students met or exceeded grade-level expectations in English and 32% of students did so in math.

Local results tell a more individualized story. The highest performing elementary school in the state was Polaris Elementary, a Denver Public K-5 magnet school for students who have been tested and determined to be gifted. At Polaris 96% of students tested demonstrated English skills at or above grade level and 92% demonstrated grade level or above skills in math.

 The highest-ranking Cherry Creek District (CCSD) school on the list was the Challenge School, a K-8 facility that also admits only students who have been deemed gifted through testing, where 88% of students demonstrated English skills at grade level or higher and 85% did so in math.

In Littleton Public Schools (LPS) overall, 60% of students met or exceeded grade-level expectation in English and 51% did so in math. 

Among area elementary schools, Lois Lenski shined with performance rates of 69% at or above grade level in English and 64% in math, while 23% grade-level of Field Elementary  students performed at or above grade level in English and 22% did so in math.

Also making a strong showing for LPS was nearby Newton Middle School that got a sparkling new campus this year, with scores of 73% in English and 69% in math. Littleton Academy, a well-regarded LPS K-8 charter school, had scores of 72% in English and 56% in math. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, the student population of LPS’ 15 elementary schools, six middle schools, and three high schools is 30% minority and 13% are economically disadvantaged.  

Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) posted overall scores of 50% performing at or above grade level in English and 40% in math. 

Its highest performing school, outside of the Challenge School, was Cherry Creek Academy, a K-8 charter school open to all district students. There, 80% of students performed at or above grade level in English and 72% did so in math. 

Other area Cherry Creek district elementary schools’ results as a percentage of students who performed at or above grade level on spring 2022 CMAS tests are:

CCSD elementary schools that fared less well were 1) Eastridge Community Elementary with scores of 23% in English and 16% in math; 2) Highline Community Elementary with scores of 20% in English and 12% in math; and 3) Sunrise Elementary, where 20% of students tested demonstrated at least grade level proficiency  in English and 9% did so in math.

Cherry Creek middle schools had widely fluctuating results on CMAS tests, as well. In our area, 73% of Campus Middle School students performed at or above grade level in English and 64% did so in math. At West Middle School, 65% of students tested performed at a minimum of grade level expectations in English and 53% did so in math. 

CCSD Horizon Middle School students fared less well, with only 23% performing at grade level or above in English and 10% doing so in math. Prairie Middle School had even weaker results, with 17% of students attaining at least grade level performance in English and 8% doing so in math. Both schools are in south Aurora.

Results at Colorado Skies Academy, an aerospace-focused CCSD charter middle school located on the campus of Centennial Airport, were 47% grade level or above performance in English and 22% in math.

At Cherry Creek Elevation, the district’s fully online school, 41% of its students tested at grade level or better in English, while 23% did so in math.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the student population of CCSD’s 47 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, and 10 high schools is 50% minority and 20% are economically disadvantaged.

In Douglas County, reported to have 30% minority enrollment and 8% of students who are economically disadvantaged, the overall performance was 62% with English scores at or above grade level and 51% with math scores of grade level or higher. 

Standouts were Lone Tree Elementary with 80% of students being at grade level or higher in English and 70% performing at that level in math. Stone Mountain Elementary did even better, with scores of 83% in English and 79% in math. 

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