Thank you for the hard work you are engaged in to implement the Colorado Academic Standards. We also appreciate your preparation for the new online Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS): Science and Social Studies assessments in the spring of 2014 (and fall of 2014 for high school) and the new English language arts and mathematics assessments in the spring of 2015. We know that there are questions about how the results of these new assessments will be used in the school and district performance frameworks and how this will impact the timelines for the release of the frameworks. CDE is asking for public comment from you on some of these issues, before we make a decision and ask for NCLB Waiver approval from the U.S. Department of Education.
2013-14 Assessments Included in School/District Performance Frameworks
For the 2013-14 school year, the school and district performance frameworks will include reading, writing, and math TCAP assessment results as they always have, in participation, achievement, growth and growth gap indicators.
We would like your comments on including the new elementary and middle school science and social studies assessments through participation rates only, and not in the Academic Achievement indicator.
The Department thinks this would be a good method for transitioning to the new CMAS: Science and Social Studies assessments for a number of reasons:
· Including the participation rates in the accountability system will emphasize the importance of assessing students with the new on-line assessments.
· If we included the achievement scores for 2013-14, the preliminary SPFs and DPFs release would be delayed, due to the standard setting process timeline. It is estimated that the SPFs and DPFs would not be available until mid-September, at the earliest, if CMAS: Science/and or Social Studies achievement results are included.
· Excluding the achievement scores allows districts and schools to adjust to new on-line assessments in a lower stakes environment.
· Excluding science and social studies achievement results until 2014-15 will allow elementary, middle and high school levels to all have science and social studies data in the frameworks in the same year (since high school is not tested until the fall of 2014).
Schools and districts will receive student achievement data on CMAS: Science and Social Studies, as well as individual student reports for their use as baseline data. The achievement results will be reported publicly.
We look forward to your comments on the proposal for CMAS: Science and Social Studies results in the 2013-14 performance frameworks. Please email your comments to Alyssa Pearson at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 9th.