A new proposal in the state legislature would dramatically change
Supporters said the change would better prepare
Coloradoschoolchildren for college and for life after school.
"The Senate took a historic step today in improving, modernizing and strengthening student assessments," said Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.
The move means state grade-level standards will be set so that each year students move closer to comprehending the issues presented on ACT tests. …
The change came during floor debate Thursday morning over Senate Bill 212, which requires that the state align K-12 educational standards with college requirements so that students can make a seamless transition. But the bill did not specify what the standards should be and laid out a multi-year collaborative process for state education officials to develop the standards.
The bill seems to have split some education advocacy organizations that are frequently aligned, such as the Colorado Education Association and the Colorado Association of School Executives (pro), and the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Association of School Boards (against). Support for the bill also does not fall along party lines, with sponsors on both sides of the aisle.
At the heart of the issue is the effectiveness of the CSAP in assessing student progress towards grade-level and graduation standards. Unfortunately, the CSAP is often unfairly maligned in these discussions, a victim of Governor Owens’ haphazard accountability policymaking. This bill is meant to fix real flaws with CSAP testing, especially the fact that CSAP results are not useful to teachers in improving instruction for students, because results arrive late and at a high level of aggregation.
Rather than dump the CSAP altogether, though, CSAP testing could be modified to address this and other concerns. For example, a computer-adaptive test, while it would come with significant technical challenges, could provide both diagnostic and summative performance information with less burden on classroom time.
Supporters of this bill mean well (I assume), but it’s too early to the CSAP baby out with the bathwater.
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