Higher Standards and Smarter Tests

High academic standards are a road map for educators and parents -- showing what students need to learn each year to be ready for high school graduation, college, or careers. In 2009, our state adopted the Colorado Academic Standards. These standards, in 10 subject areas, have been implemented by educators across our state to ensure our kids have the 21st century skills they need to succeed. They are already helping make sure that that, throughout their education, students are prepared for their next step. Ultimately, higher standards mean that a high school diploma represents readiness to succeed after high school.

Just like higher academic standards, statewide academic tests are an important, necessary part of a high-quality education system. Good assessments are valuable educational tools for students, parents, teachers, principals, districts, and the state. In 2012, Colorado adopted new tests aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards to measure how our students are doing. These new, smarter tests (which replaced our old tests) were designed by educators and experts to ensure that students are on track. These tests measures a wide range of real-world skills that we know students need in the real world, like critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis. This new test is just one measure of a student’s knowledge and the results are another tool to help parents understand how their child is doing.

What does a smarter test look like?

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