These communications tools are meant to be used by district leadership and principals when training their staff or community about Colorado’s new assessments. All resources can be modified and personalized to meet individual needs. Resources will be continually added to this page so make sure to check back often.
Take the Test Toolkit
These resources can help you plan an event to help parents better understand the new state tests, Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS). CDE is providing these ideas to help support districts/BOCES in this transitional phase. These are optional ideas for consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Sample letter for parent opt-out on state tests (New! January 2015)
- CMAS Testing Times
These charts provide detailed information on the number of sections and scheduled testing time for CMAS compared to TCAP.
- Suggested talking points for teachers to use with parents to explain more about new state tests - These talking points may be shared with your teachers to help them have a conversation with parents about the new state tests. These include some points about how the new tests set the expectations higher compared to past tests. With that, the scores may not be as high as some may expect which doesn’t mean our students are performing any worse. Rather, it illustrates we’ve raised the bar of expectations. Your teachers having these kinds of conversations with parents will help set the stage for when the new tests results are released. These points may also be used by you in your principal newsletters to parents, too.
- Sample PowerPoint (PARCC/science and social studies)
- National PTA Parents’ Guide to Assessment
- CDE Letter to Superintendents Regarding Assessment Participation - This is a letter sent to Colorado superintendents in January 2014 with information on opting out/parental refusals of the state assessments.
- Assessment Overview (PDF)
Meaningful, timely and precise measures of student learning – assessments - provide critical data and feedback to determine whether educational goals are being met. Colorado assessments are changing in order to accurately assess student mastery relative to the Colorado Academic Standards. Learn more in this fact sheet.
- Transitioning to 21st Century Standards and Assessments (PDF)
Meaningful and relevant assessments work hand in hand with rigorous academic standards. Assessments provide ongoing measures of student learning at each grade level. The data from assessments is critical in determining if educational goals are being met and if students are on track to graduate prepared for college and career. The Colorado Academic Standards are the foundation for the state assessments in science, social studies, English language arts and mathematics.
- PARCC-Developed English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments (PDF)
Colorado’s state assessments are changing in order to accurately assess student mastery of the updated Colorado Academic Standards. With the standards being more focused, coherent and rigorous, assessments must adapt to align with the standards. Colorado’s new assessment system is called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success. It incorporates new science and social studies assessments developed by Colorado and new English language arts and mathematics assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).
- School and District Accountability during the 2015 Assessment Transition: Overview of HB 14-1182 (PDF)
As Colorado implements new standards and assessments, some adjustments will need to be made to the state’s accountability system. The greatest impact will come in the spring of 2015 with the transition from the reading, writing and mathematics Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) assessments to the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessments that include the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments in English language arts and mathematics. House Bill 14-1182 was passed in 2014 to address the impact of the 2015 assessment transition on school and district accountability
- Assessment Timeline
Illustrates which assessments have been added to the state list of requirements over time.
- State and Federal Assessment Requirements (PDF)
Access this quick reference on the federal and state required assessments.
- Introduction to the Colorado Academic Standards (PDF)
The Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) are the expectations of what students need to know and be able to do at the end of each grade. They also stand as the values and content organizers of what Colorado sees as the future skills and essential knowledge for our next generation to be more successful. Read this fact sheet for an introduction to the CAS.
- Common Core English Language Arts Standards (PDF)
Colorado has updated academic standards in 10 content areas for preschool through 12th grade. The Colorado Academic Standards for reading, writing and communicating (English language arts) and for mathematics incorporate the Common Core State Standards. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Common Core English language arts standards.
- Common Core Mathematics Standards (PDF)
Colorado has updated academic standards in 10 content areas for preschool through 12th grade. The Colorado Academic Standards for reading, writing and communicating (English language arts) and for mathematics incorporate the Common Core State Standards. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Common Core mathematics standards.