School Views: Standardized testing, standard process
As we ride the spring weather rollercoaster, Eagle County School District is preparing to administer the annual Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) exams in Language Arts, Math and Science. CMAS tests are administered each year across the state to determine if students have mastered the content they need to know according to grade level and subject matter standards. CMAS tests cover Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8, and Science for grades 5, 8 and 11.
High school students will also be testing this spring. Ninth and 10th graders will take the PSAT, and 11th graders will take the SAT. After CMAS testing disruptions caused by the pandemic, this year’s results are important to show how student learning has been affected and how our students have rebounded. Last year, test results showed that while there was learning loss it was not as significant as expected. Now, having another year of in-person instruction under our belts, we will be able to further determine where students stand and where we need to place our focus.
We understand that standardized testing is nobody’s favorite pastime. But we also see the benefit in gathering this information so that we may better serve our students. We believe our students are ready for these tests and there is no cause for concern. That said, we all perform better after a full night’s rest and a good meal to start the day. We encourage all students to do what they can to show up in test-taking form.
As a parent or guardian, encourage your student to take these exams seriously and strive to do their best. These tests are an opportunity for students to show what they’ve learned. We’re excited to see the results and celebrate the strides ECSD students have made, as well as better focus our efforts on the identified areas of need.
If a parent or guardian is interested in seeing what the testing windows are or want to know what opt-out options are available, they can visit our website to learn more about Student Assessments.
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Once complete and all the data is collected, the Colorado Department of Education posts all district results from across the state on its website. This platform allows you to not only compare schools within the district but also any school or district across the state. It creates a report known as a School Performance Framework based on various test results and other data points. Each school is expected to improve its School Performance Framework scores by 5%, which allows for them to focus attention on their greatest areas of need.
Standardized tests are a part of the public education system, and I am confident that our students are prepared to demonstrate their knowledge. We look forward to learning where our students stand in their academic mastery and continuing to support their learning process.
Philip Qualman is the superintendent of Eagle County School District. Email him at email@example.com.