Colorado State Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond sent a letter to all districts warning them not to opt out of state or federal testing. The gist of his letter was: it may be harmful; it may be child abuse; it may violate your professional ethics; Italy be a waste of time and money; but it is the law and in our state, we follow orders.
Superintendent Nicholas Gledich said District 11 did not intend to break the law. “”We’ve never had a desire to not be in compliance with the laws; we’ve had a desire to create change and coordination by which the conversation could be held,” he said.
“But D-11 isn’t conceding defeat.
“We’re not ready to just drop everything,” said Elaine Naleski, vice president of the district’s board. “We’re still having the conversations. At this point, I don’t want to say OK, they said we can’t do it so let’s go back to doing what we have been doing. We believe in local control and will do what we can locally because we believe it’s good for the kids.”
“Gledich said Hammond didn’t shut the door on D-11’s request. In his letter to Gledich, Hammond said he will have CDE staff reach out to D-11 to “explore ways in which the department can continue to collaborate and incubate innovative approaches to these issues.”
“What I see in his response is he’d like to work with us to explore innovative approaches,” Gledich said.
“However, he and I both understand that we have to work within the federal requirements.”
“The mounting resistance to standardized testing is coming at a time when Colorado education officials are reviewing a frustrating picture of a lack of academic improvement over the past 10 years of testing.
According to an annual report the CDE submitted to the State Board on Wednesday, while the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced on math tests has increased by 12 percent since 2004, it’s only advanced by 3 percent in reading and writing.
“School readiness of 4-year-olds has declined in literacy and math in the past three years and the percentage of third-graders reading at or above grade level has stagnated at about 72 percent.”
Remember how Arne Duncan says he wants less testing? Don’t believe him. In Colorado, such requests are routinely rejected by Duncan’s DOE. Do you think he doesn’t know?
“The U.S. Department of Education “has made it clear to us” that if a state or district fails to comply with the assessment requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, or a state-approved flexibility waiver, its federal funding for low-income students could be in jeopardy, Hammond’s letter to superintendents states.”
Thanks, Arne, for reminding us to watch what you do and ignore what you say or write.