No statewide test this fall to assess what Colorado students missed

Colorado students won’t start the school year with a uniform diagnostic test to determine how their reading and math skills stack up after months at home with inconsistent access to virtual learning.

In a letter to advocacy groups, Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes said she shared their concerns about making sure schools and students have the right support to make up for learning loss, but she did not feel that an off-the-shelf diagnostic test was a good use of Colorado’s federal coronavirus relief funds.

She also feared it could lead to unintended consequences, such as inappropriately identifying children for special education services.

“I have determined that establishing a statewide assessment of this type at this point in time would distract districts from focusing on critical fall reopening priorities, result in unnecessary duplication, and not necessarily be aligned to local curricula,” Anthes wrote in a letter sent Monday. “Additionally, use of large-scale diagnostic assessments to determine all students’ current knowledge and skills falls outside of the validated purposes and uses of those assessments.”