State panel to answer questions about standardized testing
If You Go
What: Colorado Standards and Assessments Task Force roundtable discussion
When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Battle Mountain High School library
Information: The task force is touring Colorado answering questions and collecting input about the state’s mandated standardized testing. Wednesday’s appearance is their only one in the mountains.
EDWARDS — Students face more, and more expensive, standardize testing, and this evening a state task force will try to explain why.
The Colorado Standards and Assessment Task Force also says it wants your opinions.
By some accounts, local students now sit through 31 hours of testing each year, up from nine hours a few years ago.
The task force is trying to study the implications of all that testing. They’re scheduled to present their study state lawmakers by Jan. 31.
Why they’re here
Ray Scott, a Grand Junction Republican, surprised Democrats in last year’s legislative session when he introduced House Bill 1202. The bill would allow Colorado’s school districts to opt out of some state mandated standardized testing, and replace it with district tests.
The task force is a compromise reached by state lawmakers facing a growing chorus of concern by voters over the increasing amount of testing.
Tonight’s appearance is the task force’s only appearance in the mountains.
The education industry is supposed to use the data to help measure performance by students and teachers, and rank schools, said Jason Glass, superintendent of Eagle County schools.
“We’ve hitched a bunch of stuff to testing,” Glass said.
Glass said the data can be helpful, but increased testing does not have his unqualified support.
“They take more time and we’re losing instructional time in the classroom,” Glass said.
The federal No Child Left Behind program requires testing for all students in grades 3-8, and once in high school, covering a variety of subjects. Local schools have added social studies and science testing, and some high school seniors are also tested, Glass said.
Glass tends to take a global view of education, and said that countries that outperform the U.S. tend to test students only three times during their entire K-12 academic career.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.