CO Department of Education will resume testing for 2020-2021 school year

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Education plans to resume SAT, PSAT and CMAS testing during the 2020-2021 school year after canceling it last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This fall the Colorado Department of Education will once again offer SAT testing for college-bound students, though fewer students are expected to take the exam with Colorado colleges and universities not requiring test scores during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joyce Zurkowski, Chief Assessment Officer at Colorado Department of Education, said the department still made the decision to offer the SAT after hearing from students wanting to take the exam.

“There may still be scholarship opportunities that down the road that require these scores so there is a reason some students or parents would like this opportunity,” said Zurkowski.

The Department of Education plans to stagger exam start times and add exam dates to meet COVID-19 guidelines and make the SAT as accessible as possible for students who wish to take it.

The Colorado Department of Education plans to move forward with Colorado Measures of Academic Success, CMAS, testing in Spring 2021. During CMAS testing, students in 3rd through 8th grade are tested on English language arts and math and students in 5th, 8th and 11th grades are tested on science.

Teachers and school districts use data from CMAS testing to help formulate strategies and curriculum for the following school year. While this data is important, Zurkowski said teachers have other ways to assess students’ knowledge and will have to lean more heavily on other methods for this fall.

“There are a variety of assessments that are utilized for a variety of purposes in a school setting. State assessments are only one piece of that. It should never be the sole piece of that,” said Zurkowski.

This fall, a group of stakeholders will meet to discuss CMAS testing for Spring 2021.

“Lots of folks that will be talking about this and work with schools and districts closely,” said Zurkowski.

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