DENVER, Colo. - After more than a year of research and community outreach, Colorado's Standards and Assessment Task Force presented its findings and recommendations to the Joint Education Committee this morning.
Colorado's Standards and Assessment Task Force was created last year as a result of HB14-1202, sponsored by Senator Mark Scheffel and Representative Ray Scott. The task force was responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of state mandated standardized testing in Colorado and reporting back to legislature with recommendations.
Upon reviewing the recommendations provided by the Task Force, Senate President Bill Cadman remarked that, "Coloradans should be proud of the hard work and countless hours the Task Force committed towards studying the burden of standardized testing on Colorado's students and teachers. We will continue to review the recommendations provided today by the Task Force and remain dedicated to reducing the standardized testing burden in Colorado. We've heard too often from students, parents, and teachers that an overwhelming amount of time is dedicated to testing at the expense of a more balanced educational approach. Senate Republicans look forward to working with Democrats in the legislature and Governor Hickenlooper to achieve real progress on behalf of our students and teachers."
Senate Education Committee Chairman Senator Owen Hill added, We need to make sure we reduce the burden of testing on our children and teachers while ensuring accountability and transparency with the more than $6 billion we spend on K-12 education every year."
According to the final report issued today by the Colorado Standards and Assessment Task Force:
"Early on in Task Force deliberations, members agreed that assessments provide valuable data for the purposes of holding schools and districts accountable for student performance, comparing groups of students to one another, improving instruction, and measuring student growth and proficiency. However, findings from research studies and public input made it clear that Colorados current system of State and local assessments has created far too many demands on time, logistics, and finances that are impacting the teaching and learning process in schools and undermining public support for the assessment system as a whole. Thus, the consensus of the Task Force is that, where possible, changes must be made to the type, frequency, and use of various assessments."
Senate Republicans have consistently been dedicated to reducing the testing burden on Colorado's students while also supporting educational standards that inspire excellence. In his remarks on the opening day of the legislative session, Senate President Cadman highlighted this fact by pointing out that, "We know there are too many tests, they cost too much, and know 'teaching to them' is consuming too much class time and reducing progress. We are committed to reducing this burden, so our teachers can return to teaching."