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Friday Churn: Do your CSAP best

What’s churning:

Colorado schoolkids have plenty of adults – parents, teachers, principals – nudging them to do well on CSAP tests, and Commissioner Robert Hammond has his own words of advice.

“Colorado students have shown tremendous commitment to CSAP for years and we encourage all students to show what they know on this important assessment,” said Hammond in a news release. “CSAP generates gold nuggets of information for parents, teachers, schools and students to clearly understand their progress toward being prepared for higher education or a career.”

Some surly 10th-graders might differ about their commitment, and CSAP critics aren’t so sure about those gold nuggets.

This will be the last spring that the current CSAPs are given. Tests in the springs of 2012 and 2013 will be tweaked a bit so that questions aren’t out of synch with the state’s new content standards.

A whole new statewide testing system is supposed to debut in spring 2014. But the details of those tests haven’t been worked out, and nobody’s figured out yet how much the transition will cost and how to pay for it.

CSAPs are given in grades 3 through 10 in reading, writing and mathematics and in grades five, eight and 10 in science. Last year, student participation was 99 percent and 1.6 million tests were given. Find last year’s results on CDE’s SchoolView portal.

What’s on tap:

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education meets this afternoon at 1 p.m. in hearing room A of the Legislative Services Building, 200 E. 14th Ave. Agenda items include a briefing on performance-based funding systems, removing for-profit Westwood College from probationary status, briefings on legislative and 2011-12 budget issues, and a discussion of the commission’s proposed schedule this year for fleshing out a higher ed master plan. Agenda

Good reads from elsewhere:

Saying no to CSAP: Some parents don’t want their students taking the state exams. Denver Post.

Ravitch watch: Why the education historian rouses such strong emotions. Washington Post column.

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