2013 TCAP Scores Show Modest Improvement in All Subjects, but Achievement Gaps Remain Wide

Written by: Sarah Hughes
Date Posted: August 16, 2013

Results from the 2013 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) released this week show small gains in the percentage of students scoring proficient or above in reading, writing, math and science. In 2013, 70 percent of all students scored proficient or above on the reading portion of the statewide assessment, up from 69 percent in 2012. Students showed similar gains in math, with 57 percent proficient in 2013, compared to 56 percent in 2012. In writing, 55 percent of students were proficient or above. The largest improvement occurred in science, however, where scores increased by 1.5 percentage points over 2012 and about half of all Colorado students tested at grade level.

While results also show that since 2008, students who qualify for the free and reduced price lunch program (FRL) have improved at a faster rate than students from moderate- to upper-income families, achievement gaps between low-income students and their peers remain wide. In 2013, 53 percent of students who qualify for FRL were reading at grade level, an improvement over 2012 but still far below the 82 percent of non-FRL students who scored proficient or above. Achievement gaps in writing, math and science were similarly wide. English Language Learners (ELLs) also scored below their peers, with only 46 percent reading at grade level, compared to 75 percent of non-ELL students.

The progress is good news, but more needs to be done. By closing achievement gaps, we can ensure all Colorado kids have a chance at success. This fall, voters will have the opportunity to vote for closing the achievement gap by investing in all Colorado kids, especially those who need the most help. The Colorado Commits to Kids ballot measure would ensure school dollars follow low-income and ELL students and are spent in the most effective way to raise achievement for all kids. Learn more at www.coloradocommitstokids.com.

Click here to see the full TCAP results or click here to read further analysis of the scores in EdNews Colorado.

Sarah Hughes

About Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is Vice President of Research Initiatives for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. In this role, she leads the organization’s research and data analysis efforts, including the development and publication of the annual KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report, and provides research and data support to inform and advance the Children’s Campaign’s policy agenda. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, Sarah worked in communications and spent several years working and volunteering with kids in various capacities. She holds a Master of Social Work with a specialization in Advocacy, Leadership and Social Change from the University of Illinois and a B.S. in Business and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.