Principal's Corner February 2017
Dear Pomona Families,
The information below pertains to the state assessments which are given to students across Colorado each spring. I hope that this information, provided by the Colorado Department of Education, will provide you with answers to questions you may have related to the upcoming assessments.
Colorado has a series of educational standards, known as the Colorado Academic Standards that outline academic objectives for students in every grade across 10 content areas. Fully implemented in the 2013-14 school year, the standards have raised the bar for Colorado students, increasing the expectations so they are prepared to succeed in college or careers upon high school graduation. To measure students’ mastery of more rigorous standards in grades three through nine, Colorado has implemented a set of common assessments known as the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, or CMAS.
PURPOSE AND VALUE OF STATE ASSESSMENTS
CMAS are the only common measuring tool in Colorado for students in third through ninth grade. Measuring real-world skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, the tests are aligned to classroom work so teachers do not have to “teach to the test.”
While CMAS assessments are only one measure of student learning, having all Colorado students take this set of assessments provides parents with answers to these important questions:
• How well is my child doing on meeting state standards
compared to other students?
• Which schools and districts perform best in preparing
students for success in meeting the state standards?
• Which districts have the best performance on the state
standards for children with special needs?
• What schools and districts have the best performance on
the state standards for children of color?
Additionally, state assessment results provide:
• information educators need to help improve instruction.
• identification of districts and schools that have struggling
students, so help can be provided.
• recognition of high performing systems so others may
learn from them.
Practice Tests Help Students Be Ready
Parents are sometimes concerned that participating in these tests can cause anxiety in their child or that preparing for the test takes away time from instruction. Because these tests are aligned to the CAS and classroom instruction, these tests should not cause any more anxiety than any of the other tests students take as part of their education. Also, practice tests are available to help familiarize parents and students with test content and structure.
Emma-Leigh Larsen - Principal