Colorado students may resume taking the normal slate of standardized tests in the spring of 2022.
On Thursday, the State Board of Education voted to support the normal administration of state assessments. The board also wants to transition back to holding schools accountable for student performance. The accountability framework has been paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests were canceled in the spring of 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. In the spring of 2021, the state legislature requested a one-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to reduce the number of assessments given to students.
If normal tests resume in 2022, then students in grade 3-8 would take English and math assessments, students in grades 5, 8 and 11 would take a science assessment, and grades 9 and 10 would take the PSAT.
The board said it would support a transitional period for schools to comply with the accountability framework, including accommodations for schools on the state's accountability clock.
In August, the state released the results of the 2021 CMAS tests. They showed a decline in both performance and participation from the 2019 tests.
State lawmakers will ultimately decide whether schools will have to administer the tests in 2022, or if they'll seek additional waivers. Last year, lawmakers who supported testing said it was important to gauge how much academic performance has been impacted by the pandemic. Supporters of reduced testing said the tests add extra stress at a time when students and teachers are already overwhelmed.