For the first time in fourteen years, students in Cherry Creek Schools and other districts across the state won’t be taking the Colorado Student Assessment Program or CSAP tests this spring. Instead, they’ll be taking the Transitional Student Assessment Program or TCAP tests. But for the most part, students and parents won’t notice much difference.
Students in grades three through 10 will still be tested in reading, writing and math, and students in fifth, eighth and 10th grades will still be tested in science. Parents and schools will still receive reports that show whether their students are Advanced, Proficient, Partially Proficient or Unsatisfactory in each subject area, as well as how their academic growth compares with other students who started at the same level academically.
“The name of the test has changed, but it still measures basically the same thing,” said Dr. Elliott Asp, Assistant Superintendent for Performance Improvement for Cherry Creek Schools. “The test still provides parents with valuable information about how their child is doing and how much growth their child has made. It also provides our district, principals and teachers with an outside, objective measure of how we’re doing in preparing students and helping them meet state standards.”
In 2010, the Colorado Department of Education adopted new Model Content Standards in Reading, Writing, Math, Science and nine other subject areas. The standards, which were adopted by the Cherry Creek School District in December 2011, are grade-level specific, less broad and more in-depth.
“The new standards are more rigorous, more clear and require students to apply what they’ve learned,” said Dr. Asp. “The new standards are better for students and teachers.”
The original CSAP tests and the TCAP will eventually be replaced by a new state assessment which will measure the new state standards. Students will take the TCAP tests this year and next, and are scheduled to begin taking the new assessment in 2014.
For more information about CSAP, TCAP and the new Model Content Standards, visit the Colorado Department of Education website at www.cde.state.co.us.