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CoAlt - Science and Social Studies


Mira Monroe 
Special Education Principal Consultant 
Assessment Unit 
(303) 866-6709

Important Announcements

CoAlt: Science and Social Studies Standard Setting will happen in July, 2014.  Educators interested in participating must be in the Educator Database.

Spring 2014 Manuals

Released CoAlt - Science and Social Studies Items

Released items for the revised CoAlt - Science and Social Studies assessments are available. These items are representative of item types on the CoAlt - Science and Social Studies assessment. The CoAlt Field Test Examiners Manual is also available on the page linked above. These materials are for the CoAlt  - Science and Social Studies assessments, and not for CoAlt - Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

Changes from Previous Years

The CoAlt - Science and Social Studies assessments has several changes from the CoAlt - Reading, Writing and Mathematics assessments.

  • The student is presented with three answer options rather than four.
  • The student will work with the test item until they provide the correct answer or the maximum number of attempts is reached.
  • The scoring rubric incorporates the level of independence and answer, which will no longer be collected as two separate score points.
  • CoAlt Test Examiners may not reword prompts, but must follow the script exactly as written.
  • A cue for the student to engage is included as the additional prompt, and will no longer need to be created by the CoAlt Test Examiner.
  • CoAlt Test Examiners may mark student scores on the score recording form or in the test book, but final student scores must be entered online via PearsonAccess.

New Test Books

  • The pages of the CoAlt - Science and Social Studies  test books are oriented so that the CoAlt Test Examiner must administer the test while facing the student. The test book includes scripted text for the CoAlt Test Examiner to read aloud to the student.

New Item Types

  • Selected Response items present three answer options from which the student selects an answer to the question presented.
  • Supported Performance Tasks require the student to manipulate option cards in order to respond to three related prompts for each item. Students use the option cards to complete a chart or graphic. This new item type allows more interaction between the student and the assessment.

PearsonAccess Trainings

Trainings are open to all districts, with invitations sent to District Assessment Coordinators (DACs). Districts participating in Spring Field Testing must attend appropriate sessions as indicated on the table below. Other districts may attend at their own discretion. Recordings of each training will be available on the PearsonAccess website a few days after the last WebEx date.

CoAlt Frameworks

The CoAlt Assessment Frameworks are designed to assist educators, test developers, policy makers, and the public by clearly defining those elements of the Colorado Academic Standards - Extended Evidence Outcomes that are suitable for state testing. They are not designed to replace local curricula and should not be considered state curricula. They define the content that may be assessed on CoAlt - Science and Social Studies assessments.

Invitation to be included in the Educator Pool

View more information about the Educator Pool

If you are interested in participating in assessment development committees, please access the Educator Database questionnaire

High School Social Studies and Science Assessment Administration

With careful consideration of responses from districts, it has been determined that contingent upon legislative approval, the science and social studies assessments will be administered to high school students in the fall of 12th grade. While this response was the most favored by respondents, CDE is aware that issues and concerns surrounding this plan exist.

The timing of high school assessment administration is a complicated issue that elicits many unique perspectives. While the selected administration plan is not without limitations, it provides an avenue whereby districts are provided with flexibility in determining scope and sequencing for science and social studies and whereby the testing burden will be decreased for 11th graders.

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