Unanimous OK for Key 9th-Grade Testing Change

(Feb. 13) – Rep. Brittany Pettersen’s bill to provide a shorter 9th grade assessment directed at better preparing students for college received unanimous approval from the House Education Committee this afternoon.

HB17-1181 directs the State Board of Education to move away from the state English language arts and math assessments administered by the multi-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) currently given to Colorado ninth-graders. The bill instead directs the Department to adopt a new ninth-grade assessment that is in line with a suite of the high school assessments currently offered in later grades.  Using the PSAT, for example, would reduce testing time by over 6 hours for ninth grade students, help better prepare students for college entrance exams later in high school and save the state more than $600,000 each year.

The bill “maintains continuity of our annual statewide testing, provides a more meaningful test for students, parents and teachers, and reduces the testing time to 2.4 hours rather than the current time of just over nine hours for the ninth-grade PARCC assessment,” Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood, told the committee.

HB17-1181, which is also sponsored by Rep. Paul Lundeen, R-Monument, keeps in place the Colorado growth model, ensuring that parents have access to data to show how their student is progressing and to make important decisions about their children’s education.

The committee voted 13-0 to advance the bill to the Appropriations Committee. The committee voted to defeat two other testing measures later in the day.

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