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Are we in an Education Emergency?

Across the metro Denver there are more kids below grade level in classrooms than there are on grade level.

We are officially in month two of the 2019-2020 school year, students across the state have now had the summer haze wear off, they are back into the swing of the school routine, looking forward to homecoming, halloween, and new opportunities.

Yet, as student walked into school this year, there were more students who were academically behind where they should be across the metro area. The number of students who are growing on grade level across the Denver area is nothing short of concerning. Below is a snapshot of the current state of education across three districts that the TEN team currently works in.

How many kids are on grade level CMAS Denver

In Denver Public Schools, a shocking 3 out 10 Black or Latino students are on grade level in all transition years across the district. This is compared to their White peers who are achieving proficiency at roughly 7 out of 10 students.

Although there has been small incremental growth in overall performance, a shockingly large gap between these subgroups still exists. In terms of our free and reduced lunch students, on average, 2 out of 10 students are reading at grade level, compared to 6 out of 10 students who are not on free or reduced lunch (FRL). 3 out of 10 FRL students are proficient in math, compared to 7 out of 10 non-FRL students.

How many kids are on grade level CMAS A14

In Adams 14, a terrifying 1 in 10 Black children are performing on grade level in reading, writing and math. No more than 3 in 10 of their White and Latino classmates are performing on grade level in these three areas alongside them. Quality schools options become even more bleak for students as they age, with the top performing elementary school in A14 seeing 3 in 10 students reading on grade level and the higher performing of only 2 available middle schools seeing 2 in 10 students reading on grade level. At that same middle school, 1 in 10 students are performing on grade level in math.

How many kids are on grade level CMAS Westy

In Westminster Public Schools, 3 in 10 White students are performing at grade level in math. 1 in 10 Black and Latino students are performing at grade level in math. Less than 25% of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch (FRL) are performing at grade level.

College readiness across the three districts

Across the United States, college readiness in the 9th grade is indicated by SAT scores of at least 410 in literacy, and 450 in math. According to these standards, White students in Denver Public Schools are already college ready in math by 9th grade while Black and Latino students still struggle to meet 9th grade math levels well into the 11th grade. Considering these trends, it is safe to assume that Black and Latino students would need an additional 1-2 years in order to perform at college ready levels in math.


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