Colorado students vs. New Jersey students and 6 other charts breaking down new PARCC results

The much-anticipated results from the inaugural PARCC exams are in. And as expected, most students failed to meet the state’s expectations. But state officials, policymakers and supporters of the new and more difficult tests say the students and teachers need time to adjust to the new expectations.

You can read our full recap of the results here. And you can search our database and track reaction on our live blog here. Not sure what PARCC is? This explainer will catch you up.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the data highlights.

About 40 percent of Colorado students are on track when it comes to reading and writing. Results were steady in English for grades three through 11. Fun fact: PARCC collapsed reading and writing tests into one.Fewer students, especially those in the eighth grade, met expectations in math.


Math results, meanwhile, are a bit of a roller coaster. Third graders start us off strong. By the eighth grade, we’re at a real low spot — only about two out of every 10 eighth graders met the state’s expectations. There is a rebound in high school, but the passing rate never climbs above 30 percent.More affluent students out-performed students from low-income homes by about 20 percentage points


Like on so many other standardized tests, there is a large gap between how well students from low-income families and those from more affluent homes perform. Students from more affluent homes met expectants at about twice the rate in English and math.Black and Latino students trail white students in math and English.


Those gaps persist when you look at achievement results broken down by race.Students with limited English skills lag peers who don’t receive intervention services.


The Colorado Department of Education disaggregates student achievement data into four different groups when it comes to English-language learners. It ranges from those who need intense interventions to those who either no longer need interventions or never received them. To make things a little simpler, we’re comparing those students who are currently receiving interventions and those who aren’t.

Colorado students lag behind those in New Jersey on most math tests.


With the advent of PARCC, Colorado can now compare its students’ achievement rates to those in other participating states. So, how did we do?

Students in grades three through eight in the Centennial state didn’t do as well on the PARCC math tests as those in the Garden State. However, there’s a trend reversal when we get to high school. Colorado students met expectations at a higher rate on the Algebra 2 and Geometry test than those in New Jersey.

But Colorado students outperformed those in New Mexico on most English tests.


Only about two out of every 10 students in grades three through eight in New Mexico schools are proficient in English, according to the new PARCC tests. Meanwhile, about four out of every 10 Colorado students are meeting or exceeding expectations. But as New Mexican students enter high school, they begin to catch up.



Source: Colorado Department of Education, Graphics by: Sarah Glen/Chalkbeat