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News Release - Results from elementary and middle school science and social studies tests available

July 16, 2015

Results from elementary and middle school science and social studies tests available

Results from the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) elementary and middle school science and social studies tests were released today. Elementary (fourth-grade social studies and fifth-grade science) and middle school (seventh-grade social studies and eighth-grade science) assessments were administered in spring 2015. Districts currently have their results. CDE expects most districts will distribute individual student reports at the beginning of the school year.

“It is important to remember that this is just the second year of these tests,” said Elliott Asp, interim commissioner of education. “We expect to see future growth as teachers and students gain more experience with the standards.”

Accountability Changes

District accreditation ratings and school plan types (how the state holds districts and schools accountable for student performance) will not be assigned in fall 2015. They will resume in the 2016-17 school year. During the 2015-16 school year, districts and schools will continue to implement the plan types that were assigned in fall 2014. The five-year accountability clock for districts and schools in Priority Improvement or Turnaround (the state’s lowest performing schools) will not include the 2015-16 school year. Click here for more.

For the 2014-15 school year, districts and local school boards may not use the results of the new statewide assessments (this pertains to the CMAS assessments which include science, social studies, PARCC English language arts and PARCC math) in an educator’s 2014-15 evaluation rating. Click here for more.

Participation Rates

Participation rates for the state, districts and schools are also available. Students are counted as participants if they received a valid score or if they were reported to CDE as having been unable to complete testing due to significant technology challenges. Along with participation rates, the number of students who did not complete testing due to reported parent refusal is also available.

Colorado Alternate Assessment (CoAlt)

CoAlt results in science and social studies are also available. CoAlt is the standards-based assessment designed specifically for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in CMAS, even with accommodations.

Background

Standards

The CMAS tests are aligned to Colorado’s academic standards approved in 2009 and fully implemented in the 2013-14 school year. The Colorado Academic Standards provide a grade-by-grade road map to help ensure students are ready to succeed in college and career when they graduate from high school. The new state science and social studies assessments measuring the Colorado Academic Standards were administered online in Colorado for the first time in the 2013-14 school year. The assessments were developed collaboratively by the Colorado Department of Education, assessment contractor Pearson, and Colorado educators.

The tests are based on Colorado-developed standards in science and social studies. To reflect the new expectations, new student performance level labels and descriptors were adopted. They include distinguished command, strong command, moderate command and limited command. The top two levels indicate that a student is on track for being college and career ready in the areas of science and social studies.

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