Board of Education encourages Department of Education, legislature to end ‘Testing Madness’
While Douglas County School District is working to build a Balanced Assessment System that measures what matters most, DCSD’s Board of Education is working with the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) and others to change the demands and focus of State-mandated testing.
READ MORE: Visit our Testing Madness page
During the December 11, 2014 Board meeting, President and District C Director Kevin Larsen said he believes it is time for bold action on the issue, especially in light of the recent refusal by many high school seniors to take the State’s new CMAS test.
“The legislature and the leadership at the Department of Education need to listen to the message that was sent loud and clear all over the State these last few months. Students that are taught to critically think and be 21st Century learners are also going to assert their voice. I think it would be wise for the leaders in education at the State level to pay attention,” Larsen said.
District A Director Craig Richardson recalled a recent report in which DCSD had recorded its highest percentage of students participating in the ACT test.
“Our students are deciding what tests they want to take in their senior year to advance their best hopes and ambitions for college,” Richardson said. “They know what they need and they know what they want to do to advance their academic achievement to get into the best colleges, which they desire to get into.”
“The customers have sent a market signal,” added District E Director Doug Benevento. “The signal is we don't find value in this test, therefore we will not take it. When customers do find value, they participate.”
“A market signal has clearly been sent and hopefully it is received by the legislature,” Benevento said.
District D Director Judi Reynolds also agreed.
“Every one of our juniors take the ACT,” Reynolds said. “We all understand that test holds some value.
“[The ACT] essentially tests the same things that CMAS in the junior and senior year. How do we make [the State] understand that this is not necessarily the most valuable way [to test student achievement]?” Reynolds asked.
The Board of Education not only plans to send the message via the District’s lobbyist, but this year, it will be working with CASB and other organizations to send a united message on this issue.
State Taskforce Solicits Feedback
Meanwhile, the State’s Standards and Assessment Task Force, established by House Bill 14-1202, has been studying the implications of the statewide assessment system and is currently taking feedback from the public.
Provide your feedback regarding the current “Testing Madness” to: 1202taskforcefeedback[at]gmail[dot]com
The Task Force is expected to provide its legislative recommendations to the Colorado General Assembly by January 31, 2015.