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State Board shifts: Colorado will release school, district results for high school science test

Seniors at Fairview High School in Boulder protested state tests in 2014, a precursor to PARCC backlash. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post)
Seniors at Fairview High School in Boulder protest state tests in 2015. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)

Colorado schools will for the first time learn how their high school students stacked up against others on the state’s new science tests.

The State Board of Education on Thursday gave the education department permission to release school- and district-level results from this year’s high school science test.

The board’s decision is a shift. Last May, the board forbid the Colorado Department of Education from publicly releasing state results from that test because some members believed the new computer-based exam was inadequate.

Their decision, which grabbed headlines, came amid a heated statewide debate about standardized testing.

As a sort of compromise, the board did allow the state to release individual student results.

Board members on Thursday reiterated their dissatisfaction with the test, which 25,000 high school juniors are scheduled to take this spring. But they agreed that the school- and district-level data might be beneficial to schools.

The state already releases similar data for the state’s English and math tests, as well as science and social studies tests at the elementary and middle school level.

That’s why board member Joyce Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale, agreed to release the aggregated results.

“I don’t think we should have different reporting for different tests,” Rankin said. “Until we change the tests we have what we have.”

The state’s testing director, Joyce Zurkowski said the state will likely release results in July.

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