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Assessment Pilot Program (HB 15-1323)

Overview

Below is an overview of the Alternative Assessment Pilot Program authorized in House Bill 15-1323. View a PDF fact sheet (PDF).

The bill establishes an assessment pilot program to allow Local Education Providers (LEPs) to administer assessments that provide more timely and relevant data to inform instruction throughout the school year while continuing to provide comparative data for state accountability purposes. The pilot program is comprised of two phases, as outlined below. The legislation directs CDE to apply for a waiver from any federal requirements to the extent necessary to implement the pilot. This includes seeking a waiver from the requirement that all students take a single statewide assessment.

Participation

In order to participate in the pilot program, the local board or other governing body must first adopt a written resolution authorizing the LEP to participate in the pilot. Additionally, prior to the school year the participating LEPs must notify parents that the LEP will be administering pilot assessments pursuant to this legislation, work with their personnel performance evaluation council to select or create and administer pilot assessments in any participating districts, and notify CDE that the LEP will administer pilot assessments. The notification should include a description of the assessments the district intends to administer.

Phase 1 – 2015-16 and 2016-17 School Years

The first phase of the pilot would occur during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years and involves the following:

  • Individually or in combination with other LEPs, participating LEPs will create or select assessments in each of the subjects required for statewide assessments and administer the assessments for two school years to all or a portion of students enrolled in at least one elementary grade, one middle school grade, and one high school grade.
  • The participating LEPs must provide to CDE each year data sufficient to:
    • disaggregate and report results for student subgroups; and
    • measure, for each student enrolled in the grades assessed, the student’s progress in meeting the state academic standards.
  • Participating LEPs must administer both the piloted and current state assessments for at least year one of the program.
  • After administering the assessments for two years, the LEP must submit to CDE the results for each year, prove that the assessments are valid and reliable and demonstrate that the results are comparable to the results obtained on state assessments administered in the same school years.
  • CDE will review the data to ensure that the assessments meet requirements in the statute.
  • Based on this review, CDE will recommend two LEPs to the State Board to participate in the second phase of the pilot. The State Board will then select the two participating LEPs for the second phase of the pilot.

Phase 2 – 2017-18 and 2018-19 School Years

The second phase of the pilot occurs over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years and involves the following components:

  • The two selected LEPs from Phase 1 will administer their pilot assessments in all subject areas and at all grade levels required in the state assessment system for up to two years
  • As required in Phase 1, the assessments must provide sufficient data to:
    • disaggregate and report results for student subgroups; and
    • measure, for each student enrolled in the grades assessed, the student’s progress in meeting the state academic standards.
  • As in Phase 1, the districts must notify parents that is will administer pilot assessments pursuant to this legislation and notify CDE of the assessments it intends to administer. If required by federal law, the districts may also need to continue administering statewide assessments during this period. CDE anticipates requesting guidance from USDoE on this matter in 2016-17 when the details of the second phase are more defined.
  • The participating LEPs must collect data that are sufficient to:
    • disaggregate and report results for student subgroups
    • measure student’s progress in meeting the state academic standards for each student
    • determine validity and reliability of the pilot assessments
  • Provide results for each year they administered the pilot assessments
  • Demonstrate that the results are comparable to the results obtained on the state assessments administered in the same school years
  • CDE will provide recommendation to the State Board of Education to adopt one of the pilot assessment systems or continue with the existing state assessment system.
  • The State Board will select the new state assessment or continue administering the existing state assessments.
  • If a new state assessment is adopted, the State Board will notify the General Assembly and implementation will be conditional on enactment of legislation that approves the use of the new assessment.

Contingency – Approval from USDoE

CDE must apply to the USDoE for waivers necessary to implement the assessment pilot program. According to the law, waivers are to be requested prior to the first phase of the pilot program, prior to the second phase of the pilot program, and after the second phase of the program, if the State Board approves a new assessment.

CDE submitted a formal question to the USDoE regarding Phase 1 of the pilot, specifically whether it is permissible for participants in the pilot to use their own assessments in lieu of the state assessment. Based on initial USDoE response, participating LEPs must administer the current state assessments in addition to the assessments administered as part of this pilot program. CDE plans to apply for any needed waivers related to Phase 2 of the pilot in the 2016-17 school year to be able to reflect what we have learned from Phase 1 and to be more specific as to the participants and process for Phase 2.

 

For more information please contact Joyce Zurkowski at zurkowski_j@cde.state.co.us.

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