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Pillars of Justice
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WHEREAS, Colorado’s current education accountability system has remained unchanged since 2009
and continues to assess student academic growth and performance mainly on CMAS testing in primarily
two subjects, Math and Language Arts; and

WHEREAS, this accountability system has failed to assess the many strengths of our students through
multiple measurement tools, further marginalizing low socioeconomic and minority students; and

WHEREAS, this high-stakes accountability system has resulted in stagnant outcomes, fraud, scandals,
an anti-testing opt-out movement, and failed promises of improving student learning and closing the
achievement gap; and

WHEREAS, Colorado schools and districts that fail to meet achievement targets are subject to federally
prescribed sanctions such as school closure, conversion to a charter school, or forced contracts with
external management organizations; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) reduced federal authority and allowed each
state the flexibility and authority to redesign its own accountability system and to eliminate many of the
high-stakes policies such as:
● Ratings of schools based solely on test scores, and
● Federally prescribed sanctions for low-performing schools, and
● Educator evaluations linked to standardized test scores; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the interruption of CMAS testing administration,
which created invalid and unreliable year-to-year data regarding student academic growth patterns;

Be It Resolved, that Colorado’s General Assembly and Colorado Department of Education (CDE)
recognize the continued disruption of COVID-19 to our public education system and support seeking a
federal waiver to suspend the use of CMAS testing for the 2021-2022 school year as a prudent decision
while the pandemic continues; and therefore,

Be It Resolved, that with the flexibility allowed under the 2015 ESSA guidelines, Colorado’s General
Assembly and CDE eliminate the high stakes linked to the state’s accountability system, specifically the
accreditation ratings of schools and districts and prescribed consequences for schools and districts in
turnaround status; and therefore,

Be it Resolved, that the Colorado’s General Assembly and CDE redesign school accreditation ratings
and replace the current punitive and ineffective consequences for struggling schools with a system that
evaluates student progress and student supports using multiple measures and supportive, research-based
policies; and therefore,

Be It Resolved, that Colorado’s General Assembly and CDE redesign the education accountability
system guided by the results of the performance audit of HB21-1294. 

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