Colorado has a high-quality assessment in grades 3-9.
Colorado has a high-quality assessment system, the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, in grades three through nine, which includes state-developed science and social studies assessments and PARCC English language arts and math assessments. Colorado also deserves credit for including its assessment in science into its accountability system. This decision may help ameliorate concerns about curriculum narrowing and expand the scope of what schools focus on beyond reading and math.
Using PSAT and SAT at the high-school level has pros and cons.
At the high school level, Colorado is using the PSAT and SAT as its accountability assessment. Absent an independent review, we don’t yet know if the PSAT/SAT is fully aligned with Colorado’s state academic standards. While offering the SAT as the state’s official test offers many benefits, some of those key benefits may not extend fully to all students who require accommodations and may not receive college-reportable scores.
Colorado has made efforts to accommodate all students.
Colorado has provided a detailed description of its accommodations for English language-learners, particularly Spanish-speaking students. However, Colorado could strengthen its plan by ensuring that it has a process in place to meet the 1 percent cap on alternate assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.