I Opted My Child Out of CMAS

This one is from Shawna – for full transparency.

I’ve always been a proponent of data and it’s potential to inform instruction. It’s never been a good idea to use it to punish educators or schools or districts, but that’s been the primary use over the past many years.

Good data can helps schools and districts to focus on areas they need to improve instruction or change curriculum or even to spot curriculum or content that is exceeding expectations or better serving specific groups where it could be duplicated for serving other students. If you’ve served on an authentic school or district accountability committee, you have also seen the potential for positive uses when discussing the UIP (Unified Improvement Plan.)

However, during a pandemic and with the many other issues, the loss of genuine instructional time this year isn’t something I can support.

When we switched to online testing, we were told we’d have results more quickly. We never got them more quickly, we still don’t get them until the following school year and that is not a time when we can address issues for individual students. That ship sailed…

We do have MAP testing in Jeffco (and most other large metro area districts) and I wish we had the reports from those tests sent to families. In middle school, we had a particularly wonderful math teacher who showed me both the CMAS and MAP test results, overlaid for my daughter. They aligned perfectly. Our teachers have told us they prefer MAP to inform their instruction in real time, and since it’s administered so well in our schools, without the pressure and preparation required of CMAS, families would benefit from it as well. Our educators have the benefit of immediate results to serve the students in front of them and comparative data to serve future students as well. They literally work on this at the PLC meetings.

Because I see the indications that too many of our state leaders/elected officials don’t want to listen to parent voices:

  • 1235 Responses
  • 1175 Said NO to CMAS
  • 60 Said YES to CMAS
  • 987 of the respondents are Parents (others included educators, retired educators, community members, and one student)

And because the pandemic is wreaking havoc on everyone who has children in schools or who teaches in schools or who are actual students, I’m done and need to do something for my own child. She’s already had MAP, PSAT, and will have SAT later this year. IB has cancelled tests and AP will be administering those tests in the coming months for students. I know her pre-pandemic data and I talk to her teachers and see her grades on assignments in the Campus Portal in real time.

I wrote a letter to my principal and I opted my child out of the 11th grade CMAS test. Done, that’s all I needed to do.  If you have a child in 3rd through 11th grade, you might want to consider the same. If you choose to have your child take the CMAS, you’ll see the results sometime in the fall.

I don’t know any other way to get people to listen to us unless we show them that we’re serious and we will opt our child out if they refuse to listen.

Here’s what I sent:

From: Shawna Fritzler <fritzlersm@aol.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 2:26 PM
To: Principal Email
Subject: Opt Out of CMAS testing

Hi Lovely Principal!

Sorry to do this but it’s become necessary. Morgan is not to take the  CMAS test. The SAT and PSAT are plenty and I’m not open to her doing more, particularly during a pandemic.

Thanks

Shawna