We shared the CMAS pause survey with you and you made your voices heard! Here are the numbers today:
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)
The bill is now out and scheduled for 1:30pm in House Education on Thursday, February 25th. The hearing for this bill was just postponed so wait for more info. Federal guidelines are now in play. However, it is important to advocate. Our state needs to advocate according to the wishes of Colorado parents and educators.
Read the bill here – https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb21-1125
Need another reason to advocate?
Check out these copy and paste responses from Representative Colin Larson (Jeffco) and Representative Mark Baisley (pay special attention to the comments we highlighted in red for you) regarding the pause on CMAS (clearly they’re in the very tiny YES group):
From: Colin Larson <email@example.com>
Thank you for your email regarding suspending CMAS testing for the 2020/2021 school year. While I am in complete agreement that it would be neither fair nor productive to use CMAS data this school year for district, school, or teacher accountability purposes, cancelling end of year assessments and/or hiding the data from assessments would be detrimental for children across Colorado. Put simply, knowing how much learning students have lost has never been more important, but I am also aware that we can’t use the data this year in the same ways it has been used in the past.
I understand that tests of any type, from classroom tests to the SAT, can be a source of anxiety for some students. I remember stressing over my SAT and CSAP tests as Jeffco and Littleton Public School student in the1990’s and 2000’s. But these tests serve a vital purpose in ensuring kids are receiving the education they deserve. And this year, the far greater source of mental anguish has been disruptions caused by remote and hybrid learning. Students have fallen behind, but we do not know how serious the damage is at this point. Without data on which students and communities have been hardest hit, the state will not be able to adequately respond to provide help. Thus, while I am not dismissing the concern over adding stress, I think consequences of not administering the tests would be far worse for long term student mental health and would likely have disproportionate impacts on our most vulnerable students. I have always focused on improving mental health resources in my legislative work and you have my commitment that I will continue that work in the upcoming legislative session.
While there are ample anecdotal examples of the negative impacts that remote and hybrid learning models have had on students (and indeed teachers and other education professionals) policy makers like myself do not have any quantifiable data at this time to guide our response COVID impacts on education. Without this data, we would have little information to guide our decisions. Children have already had two years of their education disrupted by COVID and having the information we need to target interventions quickly and specifically to those most impacted will be critical to ensuring we have the most equitable and complete recovery possible.
For these reasons I will support administering CMAS this year.
From: Mark Baisley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for making your concerns known in regards to Colorado House Bill 21-1125 (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb21-1125) concerning suspending the administration of state assessments for the 2020-21 school year.
Many philosophical decisions were enacted by school districts over the past 12 months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that we understand the impacts of those decisions, both positive and negative, to Colorado’s K-12 students. The CMAS (Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies Assessments) test has been providing a consistent measurement of student performance for years. Only by conducting this same test will we be able to assess the impact of the education delivery decisions of the past year.
Parents, appropriately, have the authority to opt-out their students from the CMAS testing should they desire to do so. However, professional educators should embrace an honest evaluation and value the lessons that would be learned. Our decisions as legislators should first support the primary customers (the parents) toward preparing their students to become self-sufficient adults. Attempting to avoid judgment has no place in the service of government.
Colorado State Representative
House District 39
Do you feel represented by the above responses?
Email House Education Committee Members and tell them to advocate for what we want in Colorado:
Here are email contacts for House Education members:
Make sure you don’t forget the Senate
Here are email contacts for Senate Education members:
We’ll keep you posted as we figure out what happens next.