Last week, the highly anticipated results of the PARCC literacy and math tests were released.
While the number of students who met expectations in reading went up slightly from previous years, the low overall percentage of students reading on grade level and large gaps in scores and academic progress based on race and socioeconomic status show that we still have a long way to go.
Statewide, only 44.5% of all students and 40.4% of third graders met expectations in literacy. Students of color, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and students with disabilities showed less than a year’s worth of progress while white students, wealthy students, and students without disabilities demonstrated a year’s growth. These numbers force us to ask – who’s missing from the decision-making table?
Even though averages in Denver Public Schools, the state’s largest district, inched up to meet state averages, only 41.8% of all students and 37.8% of third graders met literacy benchmarks. We’re excited to see gains of any kind and applaud the investment that the district has put into early literacy. However these numbers show that even more work needs to be done, especially considering that third-grade literacy scores, often considered a benchmark in predicting a child’s future academic success, were stagnant.
Here at Stand for Children Colorado, we believe that having strong literacy skills translates into achieving success at school and in life. What does it say about our system and our future if more than half of our students are not reading and writing to their full potential?
Parents, teachers, students, school leaders, and community members need to continue working together to find solutions. We encourage our supporters to get involved in whatever capacity they can.
If you are seeking resources to support reading at home, check out our reading pledge at Read Now Colorado.
If you are looking for ways to advocate for your child at your school and to leadership, get in contact with our parent organizer, Ivana Bejaran. She'll connect with you with opportunities to meet with school board members and build community with other parent leaders.
If you want to share your hopes and expectations for the new Denver Public Schools superintendent, someone who will have great influence on the future of our schools, fill out our Super Search Survey.
If you would like to learn more about upcoming education policy news and other advocacy opportunities, join our Statewide Advocacy call on August 28th.
As we move forward into a new school year, remember that we can acknowledge that any and all growth is positive. However, we need to expect faster progress. It is imperative that we prioritize literacy to set our children up for success. Every year that goes by with thousands of students unable to read is a year where thousands of students are set up to fail.
Standing with you,