The debates surrounding testing in Colorado continue as the General Assembly enters its final few days. Colorado Succeeds has played an active role in the testing and accountability discussions at the Capitol. While there are a number of bills that would seriously weaken Colorado’s education accountability system, there are other, more reasonable measures that responsibly cut back on testing while preserving our state’s commitment to high standards and aligned assessments. Also standing strong for the system, Governor Hickenlooper and former governors Roy Romer and Bill Owens voiced their support for quality assessments last week, urging Colorado parents and students not to opt-out of the tests.
“…like Governor Owens said the reason a testing system works is that everyone uses it, if suddenly large portions of our population in one district or another suddenly decides they aren’t going to take a test it really invalidates the value of that test and you make it impossible for parents to know that they are getting a fair share for what the taxpayers, and the tax dollars they are spending.” -Governor John Hickenlooper
Despite these positive developments, the students who already chose to opt-out of testing this year could mean consequences for Colorado schools. The U.S. Department of Education recently rejected Colorado’s request for a waiver to shield school districts with high opt-out rates from penalties.
The business community knows that the state needs to find the right balance between assessment and instruction. Colorado Succeeds is working to clear a path for fewer, better assessments while maintaining comparability and accountability.