March 2015

The business community talks a lot about the importance of a “quality assessment.” Wondering what that means? Here are the pieces of a quality assessment.

What is a quality assessment?

by Paul Lingenfelter

Paul E. Lingenfelter is president emeritus of the State Higher Education Executive Officers association. He is now on the board of PARCC, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Earlier this month, higher education leaders in Colorado took a significant step to close the persistent gap between the number of students who enroll in college and the number who graduate.

Officials at the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) on March 8 announced that Adams State University and Aims Community College will begin using PARCC, the state’s K-12 assessment of college and career readiness, to determine whether entering college freshman are prepared to take college level courses.

This makes Adams State and Aims the first colleges in the state and the nation to agree to use or validate PARCC as a college readiness assessment to determine which students need remediation.

Why is this progress? PARCC assessments, administered through high school and aligned with the requirements for success in college, provide feedback to students long before high school graduation. High school students and their teachers will know well in advance whether they are prepared or on track to being prepared for college-credit bearing courses. (more…)

Pamela Nortonby Pamela Norton

Denver resident Pamela Norton is the founder and president of Activate, mother of two, and has many friends with children across the Colorado school system.

Parents, teachers, and the larger community in Colorado are frustrated with the amount of testing in our schools. Unfortunately, to demonstrate this concern, some parents are threatening to pull students out of the statewide PARCC test. This dissenting voice should be heard, but the tactic of opting-out doesn’t solve the problem of over-testing. Instead, it reduces transparency.

I am a parent of two children, who were students at what I thought were high performing public schools. However, after my oldest graduated, I was shocked to learn that she didn’t have many of the skills needed to succeed in college. Since then, I also realized my son is behind in high school. How could a school be labeled as an A+ school yet still have 40 percent of its students needing some sort of remedial education? That doesn’t sound like an A+ to me. (more…)

Future Forward’s newest infographic tells how our country’s standards haven’t been up to par for decades — and how the Colorado Academic Standards and the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS/PARCC) fix that.

Are Colorado's students prepared to compete?

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koaColorado Succeeds’ Vice President of Policy Luke Ragland spoke to 850 KOA this morning about the importance of the statewide assessment. He debunks many myths about testing in this interview and offers some clear reasons why parents should opt in to the tests. Listen here: