Update on State Assessment Directive from US Sec of Ed

Update on State Assessment Directive from US Sec of Ed

Parents and educators are poised on the edge of their seats to see what state legislators will do, or if they will be forced to have their students opt-out entirely from CMAS testing this spring. The window of time is closing in and the Colorado legislature needs to act fast.

In the new directive from the Biden Administration, Acting Assistant Secretary of Education Rosenblum emphasizes the importance for parents, educators and the public to have access to data on student learning and success, but still seems to be amenable to waivers (emphasizing they are “not inviting blanket waivers”) yet offering flexibility in how that data is gathered, Senator Rachel Zenzinger and her co-sponsors seek to do just that.

In this Chalkbeat article posted Feb 22nd,
Colorado lawmaker pushing ahead with effort to suspend state testing despite federal requirement https://co.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/22/22296435/colorado-lawmaker-pushing-ahead-with-effort-to-suspend-state-testing-despite-federal-requirements

Senator Zenzinger points to the “positives” of still being able to apply for a waiver, while customizing the waiver providing data that would be public, and more timely and actionable than CMAS results. Achieving this is possible by creating a “local assessment pathway” – using assessments schools are already administering.

“Zenzinger said Colorado could take a similar approach in its waiver request by making data from MAP tests publicly available to parents and the broader community. Designed by nonprofit testing organization NWEA, the Measures of Academic Progress tests are used by most Colorado districts to assess student learning several times a year”

Let’s be honest, if the real issue at stake and the true goal by those who continue to advocate for CMAS is to provide data that will help guide where interventions and resources are needed, this proposal takes the wind out of that argument.

This bill would address parents’ concerns about taking time away from learning to administer a two week test when the results come in so late, it doesn’t do any good; yet the state would have the ability to provide public accessible data on student achievement to parents, educators, and the community.

What are parents’ remaining choices otherwise? Opt Out. Parents are very seriously discussing this as a viable solution for their students now.

Here are the email contacts for House and Senate Ed Committee members.

Want to have greater impact? Write your email once, but copy and paste into each individual email address. They seem to take individual emails more seriously.

Tell legislators to advocate for what we want in Colorado:

Here are email contacts for House Education members:

Here are email contacts for Senate Education members: