Final grade on CSAPs: Some improvement, but gains fail to close achievement gap
The fifteenth and final round of Colorado Student Assessment Program scores released August 3rd shows that while overall student performance has improved, Colorado's minority and low-income students continue to face significant and persistent achievement gaps.
Scores from the 2011 school year as well as those from the last decade offer a mixed bag in terms of student progress. Colorado students overall are making substantial proficiency gains across grade levels in most subject areas, and yet significant achievement gaps remain in spite of those improvements. The reason for the gaps' persistence is that the gains made by low-income and minority students have not been large enough to close the gaps with their high- and middle-income and white peers.
Even though over the past decade test scores improved for minority and low-income students, on most of the tests we reviewed, less than 50 percent of students scored proficient or advanced. This compares to 60 to 70 percent of white and middle-income students who scored proficient or advanced on most of these same tests.
This enduring achievement gap is troubling because it means that not all students are developing the skills to succeed in post-secondary education or the workforce, and for too many it means that they are dropping out of school. It also means that going forward, a significant number of minority and low-income students will have a hard time competing with their white and higher-income peers.