Denver – Students in Denver Public Schools are outpacing their classmates across Colorado in academic growth in English language arts and math, according to state test data released today (Thursday, Aug. 17), and this year’s results are the highest gains ever in literacy skills.
The results reflect sustained progress in the state’s largest school district, with DPS students growing faster academically than their Colorado classmates for the seventh straight year. This means that Denver students, who once lagged their state peers by more than 20 percentage points, have virtually closed achievement gaps with their peers.
DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg celebrated the district’s academic growth today at the Manual High School campus with several Near Northeast area schools showing strong progress: Manual, McAuliffe at Manual Middle School, DSST Cole High School and Bruce Randolph School.
“First and foremost, I want to say thank you, Denver teachers, for the very hard work you do every day,” Boasberg said. “It is because of you and your incredible dedication to Denver’s kids that we are celebrating these extraordinary gains.”
DPS growth in English language arts was especially strong, exceeding the state average and other large districts across Colorado. More Denver students are meeting or exceeding expectations in English language arts in every grade.
The district’s greatest increase in reading proficiency was in grade 3, on both English and Spanish assessments. Research shows if kids are reading on grade level by the end of grade 3, they are four times more likely to graduate high school.
Boasberg said early literacy has been a key focus for DPS, including a weeklong summer training institute for all ECE-3 teachers, monthly professional development and new curricular resources. He also thanked Denver voters, who approved a bond and mill ballot proposal in November that included a $6.8 million investment in early literacy.
DPS also is celebrating gains made by students of color, students in poverty, English language learners and students with disabilities. All of these student groups outpaced their classmates in academic progress in English language arts and math.
In addition, students of color, English language learners and low-income students this year moved to proficiency or above in literacy at a higher rate than their classmates did. Among our large student groups, by ethnicity, African-American students showed the most progress.
“While I am pleased to see the significant increases in growth among our highest-needs students, we still have much work in front of us to close our opportunity gaps and make sure we are truly fulfilling the potential of each and every child,” Boasberg said.
To watch a video of the press event, including remarks from school leaders, please visit the Denver Public Schools Facebook page.
To see details of the academic progress and proficiency of DPS students, please click here.