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News Release - Hammond Reaffirms Importance of CSAP

March 3, 2011

News Release

Commissioner Robert Hammond Reaffirms Importance Of CSAP In Student Learning

As schools across Colorado begin administering the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) this week, Commissioner Robert Hammond today encouraged students to do their best on the statewide exams.

“Colorado students have shown tremendous commitment to CSAP for years and we encourage all students to show what they know on this important assessment,” said Commissioner Hammond. “CSAP generates gold nuggets of information for parents, teachers, schools and students to clearly understand their progress toward being prepared for higher education or a career. CSAP paints a clear picture of what students have learned and provides valuable insight into academic areas that need additional attention.”

CSAP is administered in all public schools in grades three through 10 in reading, writing and mathematics and in grades five, eight and 10 in science.

“When we all participate in this effort, we are growing our own ability to learn what is working for our young people and helping policymakers get a clearer picture of how well our schools and districts are educating students across the state,” noted Commissioner Hammond.

Facts about CSAP:

  • Last year, the participation rate among Colorado students was 99 percent.
  • In all, 1,608,846 tests were administered.
  • Taking CSAP is the law. Under Colorado law, every student enrolled in a public school is required to take CSAP or CSAP-A (the assessment for some students with significant cognitive disabilities).
  • Taking the CSAP means that students in grades three through 10 spend a total of about nine to 12 hours in CSAP testing each year.
  • In all, CSAP consumes less than 1 percent of the total instructional time in the academic year.
  • CSAP was developed to measure student progress toward Colorado’s model content standards.
  • CSAP results allow parents to see where children are academically, where they need to develop and how much growth will help them reach or remain at a level of proficiency.
  • CSAP results provide teachers and school administrators with valuable feedback on how well their curriculum and instruction is working, especially when it comes to students that might require additional support.
  • CSAP results provide district and school administrators with valuable information to create improvement plans that put resources exactly where they are needed to help their students.
  • CSAP results allow state policymakers to learn where the system is producing the required results and where it is not, so that additional resources and accountability can be in place where needed.
  • CSAP results are captured in the online portal SchoolView ( providing the public the opportunity to view school performance and engage in conversations that lead to better academic outcomes for Colorado’s children.
  • CSAP results are not used for classroom grades.
  • Students are not held back grades or kept out of college because of CSAP results.
  • CSAP has proven itself to be a reliable predictor of college and career readiness. When analyzed, results give educators a good idea of each student’s need for both postsecondary remediation and probable scores on college-entrance exams.
  • CSAP will be replaced by a new, updated assessment system based on the new academic standards in the next few years.
  • Colorado receives approximately $500 million through the federal Title I program every year. In exchange, the federal government requires Colorado to assess all students in the CSAP content areas and report this performance.

Reminder to electronic and print media statewide: no reporters, photographers or videographers are allowed into classrooms when CSAP is being administered. Test security procedures prohibit the sharing of test booklets or test items with any outside entity, including the media.

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