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Questions and Answers

Questions for CDE:

  1. Please provide copies of the following documents:

a.  Vendor contract for administering PARRC

On behalf of the PARCC states, New Mexico conducted a competitive procurement for the administration of the PARCC assessments resulting in a pricing agreement that other states can utilize.  The winner of that process was Pearson.  Each individual state interested in using that pricing agreement is now in the process of developing its own contract with Pearson based on the NM pricing agreement.  Since Colorado already had undergone a competitive bid for our full assessment system and Pearson won that contract and is currently administering our new science and social studies assessments, we will be amending that contract to include the administration of the PARCC-developed English language arts and math assessments.

b. Memorandum of Understanding between CO & PARCC

Executed PARCC MOU 2012

  2.  Please provide a history of statewide standards and assessment in Colorado, including timelines, key players, and reasons for adoption of each component of the current system?  How have assessments and standards evolved over the years? What problems were each component of the assessment system designed to solve?

 3. Has CDE looked into the possibility of using other assessments that are aligned to the Common Core in Math and English Language Arts? What costs would be associated with such a move?  Pros and Cons of various assessments?

CDE worked with a third-party to identify costs of developing its own assessments (see link below).  These were shared with the Joint Budget Committee in 2011-12.  The General Assembly funded science and social studies assessments and directed the state to join a multi-state consortium for the development and administration of English language arts and math assessments.

4. Joyce Zurkowski, CDE, in her presentation to the TF used the following phrase several times: “content is in alignment with the values determined by the stakeholders.” Please provide a list of the stakeholders for the 2009 Standard Development and 2010 Stakeholder and Subcommittee Recommendations. Please provide a list of the values.

 5. How do charter schools receive support from the District Coordinator of Technology?

District Technology Coordinator (DTC) support of charter schools varies greatly depending on the charter’s agreement and relationship with its authorizer. Some districts provide charters with the opportunity to purchase network services. Charters choosing this option receive full district support with online assessment site readiness activities. In some districts, the DTC and the charter school technology coordinators maintain very collegial relationships, receiving training and guidance simultaneously. In some cases, districts provide devices or access to computer training labs as assessment environments to charter schools that are not able to administer the online assessments independently.   Other charter schools function highly independently of their authorizers. In those cases, districts send information to the charters; however, the charters implement as they deem most appropriate.


 6. In CDE’s presentation by Joyce Zurkowski it was stated that bids were obtained for English Language Arts and math exams at the same time as bids and contracts were offered for development of the science and social studies tests (most likely in 2012). The contracts for the English Language Arts and math exams were never executed, but could be at a future date. Please provide the following:

   a. RFPs from 2012 for all tests (science, social studies, English language arts, math)

b. Include: bids for each exam, responses, contracts offered

  • All submitted bids can be found in the archives of state purchsaing.
  • The contract with Pearson can be found at the following link: Executed CDE Pearson Contract

 7. In CDE’s presentation by Joyce Zurkowski it was stated that there were “some bumps and bruises” along the way...." for PARCC field testing and CMAS science and social studies online tests.

 a. How many phone calls were made to CDE during either PARCC field testing or CMAS science and social studies testing? Please provide a list of the nature of the calls, how long each call took to resolve (ie., data and quantifiable numbers as opposed to generalizations and anecdotal observations.)

  • CDE does not have the information requested. It does not have the capabilities of an industry provided call in center.  Please note that the vast majority of the calls were handled by the Pearson call center (see the detailed reports in part b below).

 b. How many calls were made directly to PARCC during field testing? Pearson? Please provide a list of the nature of the calls, how long each call took to resolve.

8. State law does not allow for “opting out”.

 a. How many students opted out (received a “no score” or zero) of each tests (TCAP, CMAS, PARCC field test) in each grade (3-­‐11) in each district (178) during the 2014 testing window? If possible, please provide this same data for the 3 years prior (2013, 2012, 2011)

9. During CDE’s presentation, Joyce Zurkowski responded to a question about CDE’s roll in compliance, or following state law regarding enforcement of participation. As part of “contract for admission” districts such as Peublo are denying parents the right to register their children if they refuse state and federally mandated tests  Likewise, it appears that parents can refuse to allow their children to use the internet, but cannot refuse online testing

TheBoardof Education stronglybelievesin theeducationalvalueof theInternetand other electronicnetworkresources.Such resourcesofferstudentsan opportunityto participatein distancelearning,collaboratewithotherstudentsand outsideexperts,publish works,and locatematerialto meeteducationalneeds.Theseactivitiesinstill problem-­‐solving skills, hone computerpublishing and researchskillsthat employersdemand,encouragelife-­‐long learning,and requirestudentsto thinkcritically,analyzeinformation,createmedia,and write clearly. As an important part of education, the District utilizes online tools such as

GoogleAppsforEducation,MicrosoftOffice365,Schoology (onlinelearning),variouslibrary systems,and iOS/Androidapps. TheDistrictalso utilizesonlinetools forstandardizedtesting such as Measuresof AcademicProgress(MAP),ColoradoMeasuresof AcademicSuccess (CMAS),and Schoology. Whenstudentsareonlinethedistricttakesreasonablestepsto protectstudentsfrominappropriateinformation.Whenusing onlineresourcesstudentsare responsibleforcompliancewithschool districtpolicies,including but not limitedto the following: CherryCreekSchool DistrictPolicyJS:StudentUseof theInternetand Electronic  Communications  

Please note, in order to comply with Colorado Department of Education standardized

assessmentand Districttestinginitiatives,all studentswillutilizeelectronicdevicesfor testingpurposesregardlessof theInternet& NetworkResourcesAcceptableUseWaiver. Only studentswithstateapprovedaccommodations willbeallowedexceptionsto testing withelectronicdevices.Do you givepermissionforyourstudentto utilizetheInternetand other electronic Network Resources?)

 a. Whose recommendation is it to have parents sign a form requiring testing as a prerequisite to registration in a public school? Is that a decision made by a LEA, school, or at the advice of CDE?

b. Likewise, whose recommendation is it to allow parents to refuse the use of the internet but not online, internet testing.  Is that a decision made by a LEA, school or at the advice of CDE?

 Registration and internet policies are created at the local level.  CDE is not involved in these policies, as this is at the discretion and control of local districts.


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