Colorado proposes new legislation on state standardized testing

By Casey Crow
Staff Writer

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is considering significant changes to standardized testing for students in Colorado based on House Bill 15-1323.

Key changes include cutting back on social studies testing, administering different exams to ninth- and 10th-graders and eliminating assessments for high school seniors altogether.

The bill, if passed, will eliminate 11th-grade exams developed by PARCC — the multi-state group that designs state language arts and math assessments. It will also replace 10th-grade PARCC assessments with new exams aligned to both the Colorado Academic Standards and the 11th-grade college entrance exam, or ACT.

David Hamilton, Archuleta School District (ASD) assistant superintendent of curriculum and assessment, is skeptical of whether the legislation has good, educational thought behind it, or if it is purely a political move.

Hamilton advocates for less testing all around.

“Students are starting to see education as only taking a test rather than making education about something they want to do in the future,” he stated.

Not only does he think students should not be tested every year beginning in elementary school, but also that the length of exams should be shortened. Children as young as  third- and fourth-graders are often tested up to three hours at a time.

If the legislation is approved, districts will be responsible for drafting written policies on making paper and pencil assessment available in place of the online format.

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This story was posted on July 2, 2015.