2022 RESOLUTION TO REDESIGN
COLORADO’S EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM
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; therefore,
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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A PDF copy of the resolution can be found here.