August 14, 2014

DCSD continues academic excellence
TCAP results continue to outpace state
Today, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) released TCAP scores for all Colorado school districts. DCSD scores once again rank among the highest in the state and outpaced the state average in all grades and all content areas. DCSD scored more than 11 percentage points above the state average.

The release of TCAP scores are one more piece of good news for Douglas County schools. Earlier this week, Movoto Real Estate ranked Douglas County second on the new list of the "10 Best Counties in America" stating: "... the highest high school graduation rate make(s) Douglas County the second best in the nation."

"We are pleased to see consistently high achievement and strong academic growth on TCAP and many other measures," said DCSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen. "Providing a world-class education for all students is our goal and TCAP scores are one data point. However, we know that a quality body of evidence is the best picture of how our students are doing on the outcomes we value most - we are committed to measuring what matters most using the best strategies for our students."

For example, Highlands Ranch and Ponderosa high schools recently participated in the PISA assessment, an international test that assesses not only what students know, but also how well they are able to reflect on and apply their knowledge to real-life situations. The test specifically focuses on math literacy, science literacy and reading literacy. When compared to the 34 participating countries, DCSD students performed extremely well, with average scores higher than most other countries. View PISA results here.

This is the last year Colorado students will take the TCAP test, as TCAP will be replaced by the PARCC assessment.
TCAP Results: A single data point in a Balanced Assessment
"We value a balanced assessment system, one that measures student learning over a large body of evidence. We do value the data the state sends us but it is just one piece of a larger assessment system."

Dr. Steve Cook, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary Education

Graduation rate lands DCSD in America's Top 10
Denver Business JournalCiting a high graduation rate, Douglas County is named the second best county in the nation. Read more

We're World Class: PISA Proves It

Recently students at a number of our high schools took the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Not only did our schools perform better than schools in the United States, they beat Finland-- which is often regarded as an international leader. Read full story
DCSD fights testing madness

"Unfortunately, the amount of required state standardized testing our students will endure this year has reached a fever pitch in Colorado.
We are concerned because the state mandated tests including PARCC, CMAS, READ Act, ACT and others are colliding. This confluence is significantly impacting the time available for instruction and consuming resources intended for educating our students. This is happening in all of Colorado's 178 school districts.
DCSD embraces accountability. We know it is important to measure what matters most in a thoughtful and organic way. The most important function of any quality assessment is to inform instruction. Our teachers tell us the state mandated tests are not very useful for that purpose, and they fail to measure the most important things we teach. That is why we are in the process of building a balanced assessment system that will accomplish both, while working to protect our students from the overuse of standardized tests."
Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen

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