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News Release -- State Board of Education begins discussions on pursuing new statewide assessment contracts

Oct. 12, 2016

News Release -- State Board of Education begins discussions on pursuing new statewide assessment contracts

Agreements are set to expire, beginning in June 2017

DENVER – The Colorado State Board of Education at Wednesday’s monthly board meeting began to discuss options for pursuing new contracts for the administration of the Colorado Measures of Academic Success assessments in English language arts, math, science and social studies.

In spring 2017 Colorado students will take the existing CMAS tests in science, social studies, math and English language arts. However, current contracts with assessment vendor Pearson expire in September 2017, and agreements with the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) -- the collaboration of states that developed the math and English language arts tests used in Colorado -- expire in June 2017.

Changes to the assessments also may be necessary to ensure their alignment to any possible revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards in 2018.  State law requires the standards to be reviewed and possibly revised by July 2018.

“Given the amount of time it takes to solicit bids and go through the state procurement process, these discussions need to begin now so that we can have assessments in place by 2018,” said interim Education Commissioner Katy Anthes.

For English language arts and math, options include moving forward with the current CMAS: PARCC assessments, using a shorter form of the existing tests in spring 2018 while planning for alignment to the revised Colorado Academic Standards, or replacing the current assessments in 2018 with other tests that meet the requirements of state and federal law for alignment to the Colorado Academic Standards.

This spring will be the third administration of the new ELA and math assessments, and the fourth administration of the science and social studies assessments. The state soon will begin soliciting proposals for a vendor for the statewide tests in science and social studies that are currently administered by Pearson.

Release of preliminary School and District Performance Frameworks discussed

The board on Wednesday also learned about the preliminary District and School Performance Frameworks that were released to all Colorado schools and districts the week before. Districts and schools have the option to request reconsideration of their preliminary ratings with drafts due to CDE for review by Oct. 17 and final requests on Nov. 7.

Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner of Accountability/Performance, explained that the frameworks consider academic achievement, academic growth and postsecondary and workforce readiness.

This year the frameworks also include participation descriptors for schools and districts with test participation rates below 95 percent in two or more content areas. Final district accreditation ratings are expected to be shared with the board in December and school plan types are expected to be presented for board approval in January. To learn more about the new preliminary draft frameworks for schools and districts, click here.

Amendments to the Title I Pilot for Multi-District Online Schools

The board approved amendments to policies regarding the Title I Allocation Pilot for Multi-District Online Schools.  The pilot was designed help better understand the impact of funding allocation methods for multi-district online schools because existing methods of funding may not always accurately reflect where students are receiving services.

“The original policy didn’t provide adequate opportunities for Title I funding to follow students to online programs this year, but the amendments we adopted today will allow the funding to follow students in the current school year,” said Board Chairman Steve Durham.

The change will result in minor reallocations of the Title I funding some districts receive.

State Board approves administrative procedures for 5-year Accountability Clock process

The board approved administrative procedures to be followed when considering actions for the schools and districts that have reached the end of the Accountability Clock. The board will hold hearings to consider appropriate accountability actions between January and July 2017.

Lt. Gov. Lynne addresses the State Board for the first time

During her first State Board of Education meeting, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne explained what she looks to accomplish while working with the board, including helping to focus budgets on providing high quality education for students throughout the state, emphasizing concurrent enrollment opportunities and collaborating with the board to build a productive relationship.

In other highlights from the meeting, the board dismissed a charter school appeal case, Leman Classical School vs. Douglas County School District RE-1.

 

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