As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, the vast majority of people agree that our students are over tested. The good news is that according to a Denver Post article published today, our lawmakers have almost achieved a compromise to push through a testing reduction bill. Some of the key attributes of the bill include:
- Allowing districts to create their own alternatives to PARCC, subject to state Department of Education approval
- Retaining mandatory testing of 9th graders in math & English
- Allowing the state Board of Education to replace PARCC in the future with an assessment developed by one of the school districts
- Streamlining testing for younger students
- Eliminating state tests for 12th graders
- Replacing PARCC English and math tests in the 10th grade with a shorter test called ACT Aspire focused specifically on ACT prep and readiness
Lastly, the bill also requires districts to develop and publish the procedures for students to opt out of state standardized tests, with no penalty to the students. Unfortunately, because the House Education Committee killed a bill last week which would have “held harmless” teachers and districts from opt outs, it appears that both teachers and districts will be penalized should students choose to do so. This is a gross oversight which needs to be addressed by our lawmakers. It is unfair to our teachers and to our school districts.
To read the full Denver Post article, click here.