By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
The House yesterday backed legislation that would eliminate CSAP testing for high school students.
By a vote of 47-16, the House backed House Bill 1430, sponsored by Rep. Judy Solano, D-Thornton. The bill eliminates CSAP testing for 9th-, 10th- and 11th-graders, replacing the test with a series of postsecondary and workforce readiness tests. Ninth-graders would be able to explore career options and 10th-graders would take a practice ACT test.
The measure would also eliminate statewide writing tests, instead allowing local school districts to conduct their own writing tests.
Solano, a retired teacher who has fought to eliminate CSAP tests since she became lawmaker, says the tests are costly and ineffective.
“CSAP tests are costly, time-consuming and irrelevant to students,” Solano said in a statement.
She says the tests cost the state $5.3 millions and consumes nine hours of student and teacher time.
“Parents want to see their kids work towards something more meaningful and useful in school,” said Solano. “Now, we’ll be able to replace these tests with a nationally recognized college readiness and career exploration curriculum.”
SB 1430 still has a tough fight in the Senate.
Opponents, including the Colorado Department of Education, say lawmakers are acting too quickly in supporting the legislation. The Department of Education points out that the new system would require federal approval.
State education officials would also like lawmakers to give the 2008 Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids a chance to prove itself.
Concerns are also being raised over funding mandates as a result of the proposed legislation. During debate on Wednesday, Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, rose to express her concerns over the legislation. She believes lawmakers are rushing the process before state education officials have had a chance to implement all requirements of the Achievement Plan for Kids.
“Why we are trying to hurry up a very orderly process is something I can’t understand,” said Murray.