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Requests for Waivers of Federal Assessment and Accountability Requirements


Federal and state law requires students in Colorado to take annual assessments in English language arts, math and science. Those results let families, educators and policymakers know how students are progressing academically, and they are required to be used in the accountability system that identifies schools and districts for support and improvement.

Normally, students in third through eighth grade take assessments each year in both English language arts and math. Tests in science are taken once in elementary school, once in middle school and once again in high school.

Facing unique challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, schools have had to make adjustments throughout the year. Likewise, to ease the burden on students and teachers, the state is seeking an adjustment to the statewide assessments and the accountability system.

The state legislature passed and the governor signed a bill reducing the number of CMAS tests students would take if the federal government waives the requirements for the tests. The bill requires districts to administer English language arts tests to students in third, fifth and seventh grade, and math to students in fourth, sixth and eighth grade; however, parents may choose to have their children take both assessments. The bill would also pause the school and district accountability system if the federal government waives the accountability law. Prioritizing the number of assessments given this spring will allow Colorado to evaluate how the pandemic has impacted student achievement across the state and direct resources to meet the greatest needs while also preserving valuable instructional time for educators and students.

Assessment Waiver

Accountability Waiver