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News Release -- Board requires statewide English language arts, math tests to be shorter with results available sooner

Dec. 15, 2016

Board requires statewide English language arts, math tests to be shorter with results available sooner

Time parameters embedded into RFP process for new contract

DENVER – Shorter test times with results back sooner were directives from the Colorado State Board of Education in a motion passed on Thursday on how the Colorado Department of Education must craft its Request for Proposal for a new contractor for the state’s third- through eighth-grade English language arts and math exams.

The board at its December meeting instructed CDE staff to include several specifications in the third- through eighth-grade RFP, including that both tests should not take students more than a combined total of eight hours and individual student-level results will be provided to districts within 30 days of receipt of all testing materials. Additionally, the department will have decision-making authority over test design, form development and test administration policies.

Students this school year will take the existing Colorado Measures of Academic Success assessments in math, English language arts, science and social studies.

The state will issue an RFP for the math and English language arts tests by spring with the award to be announced no later than June, according to the motion. The department will issue a separate request for ninth-grade English language arts and math tests.

Mancos School District approved as Innovation Zone

The board voted to allow Mancos School District to become an innovation school zone, waiving state law and board rules pertaining to teacher licensing and performance evaluations. Mancos’ contingent plan was approved after the board rejected its preferred plan, which would have excused the district from a broader number of laws and regulations that are not waivable per state statute.

Board OK’s charter school appeal in Jefferson County

On Wednesday, the board approved an appeal by Great Work Montessori School in the Jefferson County School District, directing the Jeffco Board of Education to reconsider the application it had previously denied. Specifically, the state board called for the school and district to have more face-to-face conversations and asked for more clarification from Great Work Montessori School on the financial piece of its application. The appeal comes after Jefferson County School District Board of Education denied Great Work Montessori School's application to operate a charter school in the district during a public meeting on Nov. 3, 2016.


The board passed a resolution recognizing and thanking State Board of Education member Debora Scheffel for her six years of service representing the Sixth Congressional District.

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored America’s most successful public and private elementary, middle, and high schools since 1982. The program recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. This year only 279 public schools and 50 private schools earned Blue Ribbons across the United States.

Colorado’s 2016 Blue Ribbon Schools award winners were: Cory Elementary and DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School in Denver Public Schools, Devinny Elementary School in Jefferson County School District, Parker Core Knowledge Charter School K-8 in Douglas County School District, and Soaring Eagles Elementary School in Harrison School District #2. For more information on Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Schools, click here.

The board also honored Colorado's finalist for the 2016 Gilder Lehrman State History Teacher of the Year, Mr. David Hazlett from Fountain Fort-Carson School district.  Since it was inaugurated in 2004, the National History Teacher of the Year Award promotes and celebrates the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. The award honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories.

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