February 20, 2015
Dear BVSD Weekly Legislative Update reader:
As you can read in daily media including this Update's highlighted ChalkbeatCOLORADO article, the venues for discussing and reforming Colorado K-12 state assessments are more than the halls and committee hearing rooms of the State Capitol. Whether in discussions of actions of the seven-member elected State Board of Education, the recently dissolved State Standards and Assessments Task Force's final report, or the test planning in any one of Colorado's 178 public school districts, the key venue remains the chambers of the Colorado General Assembly and Governor John Hickenlooper. 

BVSD Superintendent Bruce Messinger pulled these state policy threads together from a local perspective in a recent BVSD Superintendent's Blog published on the district website February 17. It is reprinted below.

Thank you,

Briggs Gamblin
BVSD Communications and Legislative Policy Director

BVSD Superintendent's Blog Concerning BVSD Impacts of Administration of Colorado's K-12 Assessment Program by Dr, Bruce Messinger, BVSD Superintendent

Colorado is implementing a new state assessment system this year. Testing begins the first week of March and continues through mid-May and will include elementary, middle and high school students. I join many educators, parents and students throughout the state with concerns about the quantity of student assessments and the impact the testing schedule will have on classroom instruction.
BVSD believes there is benefit to using quality classroom based assessments to determine the needs of all students to inform educational strategies, investment of resources and appropriate interventions for students. However, present Colorado state assessment requirements for accountability are excessive and have limited utility for instructional improvement and supporting student success.
Schools and districts are required by state law to administer state mandated tests to all students. The two main assessments required by the state are the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests in science and social studies and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests in Mathematics and English Language Arts. The Colorado ACT is also administered to juniors on April 28. Please visit the BVSD Assessments website for detailed information on the assessments and testing windows.
Because these tests are mandated, all students are expected to take the assessment. Parents have the right to refuse assessment; however, if fewer than 95 percent of eligible students participate in the state assessment, the accreditation of the school and the district could be impacted.
BVSD leadership will monitor the assessment procedures this spring and learn from the experience. District administration is also compiling data on the amount of additional time and resources needed to administer the state mandated assessments.
The Colorado legislature will be considering legislation this session which could alter the present state assessment plan based on input from educators, parents and students.
This is a prime time to contact your legislators and the governor:
Contact your legislators
Learn more about Student Assessments and other education-related topics of the current legislative session by reading the BVSD Weekly Legislative Updates.

ChalkbeatCOLORADO covers PK-20 education issues throughout Colorado including one of the most in-depth and accurate PK-12 daily news to be found anywhere during the session. 

This week, BVSD Communications draws your particular attention to a Feb. 19 story by reporter Todd Engdahl entitled,

Current update on bills currently supported, opposed and monitored by BVSD.

Each year the Boulder Valley Board of Education approves a legislative platform that sets the district’s legislative priorities and guides the BVSD contract lobbying firm, Policy Matters, LLC, led by veteran lobbyists Tanya Kelly-Bowry and Ernestine Mondragon. BVSD’s effort is overseen by Superintendent Bruce Messinger and Communications and Legislative Policy Director Briggs Gamblin. School board members Tina Marquis of Boulder and Jennie Belval of Broomfield serve as the seven-member school board’s legislative liaisons. 

A list of legislators whose districts are wholly or partially within the boundaries of BVSD. ​

View the Legislative Update homepage for access to past issues. If you have any comments or questions, please contact me at briggs.gamblin@bvsd.org​.​​​​