April 15, 2011
Colorado One Step Closer To New State Assessment With Move To Transitional Assessment In Spring 2012
Next spring as students across Colorado sit down to take the statewide summative assessment, they will not see the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) on their desks. Instead, students in grades three through 10 will take the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP), a test that will use assessment items that are common to both the previous Colorado Model Content Standards and the new Colorado Academic Standards.
“The transitional test will encourage districts to move forward with their implementation of the new standards, while providing time for the preparation of students for the higher expectations to come,” said Jo O’Brien, assistant commissioner in the Office of Standards and Assessment. “It is important for students to have been taught the new standards, including new learning skills, by the time the new assessment is in place in 2014.”
The Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) or Senate Bill 08-212 set forth a common purpose, to prepare all students for postsecondary and workforce readiness. A significant step toward achieving that goal was adopting new state academic standards that are fewer, clearer and higher. Following the 2009 adoption of those new standards, the redesign of the new assessment system began.
The assessment transition plan called for CSAP to be administered for the final time in 2011 and for TCAP to be administered in 2012. In 2013, students will be given the TCAP and they will also be given pilot assessment items that might appear on the new summative assessment that is slated to be used for the first time in spring 2014.
The TCAP will continue to assess the same content areas and grades as CSAP: math, reading and writing in grades three through 10. Science will be assessed in fifth-, eighth- and 10th-grades.
The TCAP will maintain the same general blueprint as CSAP in terms of the overall test structure and content distribution. The transition assessment will allow for continued interpretation of results through the Colorado Growth Model and it will also allow for consistent, ongoing use of state accountability ratings.
The transitional test will not test Colorado’s new personal financial literacy expectations or social studies. It will also not test any content standards that have shifted grades and it will not test any new learning skills that are embedded in the new standards, such as invention and information management.
The Colorado ACT will continue to be administered in the 11th grade.
The new assessment system attributes were unanimously adopted by the Colorado State Board of Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The new assessment system, which will include summative, interim and formative practices, is designed to provide ongoing signals and measurement of students’ progress toward mastery of the standards and college- and career-readiness.
O’Brien added: “Right now our biggest focus is to help prepare schools to teach to the new standards.”
The Office of Standards and Assessment and the Office of Teaching and Learning will co-host a webinar for district leaders with updates on standards implementation and assessment transition information on Monday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Participants will receive helpful guidance for standards transition planning for the 2011-12 school year and information on the transitional state assessment milestone. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the Web site (http://bit.ly/aJv3UH) for those unable to participate live. To participate, please follow this link: http://connect.cboces.org/officehour.
more information on the state assessment revision effort, visit
For technical assistance, E-Mail: CDE_Communications_Office@cde.state.co.us