CMAS - English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L) and Mathematics Assessments
State science and social studies tests measuring the Colorado Academic Standards were administered online in Colorado for the first time in the 2013-14 school year. The Colorado Department of Education, testing contractor Pearson, and Colorado educators collaborated to develop these assessments, ensuring alignment to the Colorado Academic Standards, as well as innovative ways of measuring knowledge and understanding.
The English language arts and math assessments were initially developed in collaboration with the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). Colorado is currently working to develop test items just for CMAS English language arts and math assessments, but while that work is underway, items from the PARCC assessment will continue to be used.
To accurately measure student mastery of these skills and expectations, Colorado adopted assessments that align with the Colorado Academic Standards. Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessments are the state’s common measurement tool of student progress at the end of the school year in English language arts, math, science and social studies. Designed to be administered online, the tests feature a variety of interactive questions that are engaging and aligned with 21st century teaching and learning practices. The standards-aligned assessments help educators and parents know how their students are performing and growing over time and how they compare to their peers across the district and the state.
Why are statewide tests important?
CMAS tests are the only common measuring tool for students in grades 3 through 8 in Colorado. Participation is important because results help students, parents, schools and districts understand whether students have mastered the content they need to know by the end of the school year and are on track to be ready for college or career after graduation. At the same time, state law requires local school boards to develop a policy allowing parents to excuse their students from participating in one or more state assessments. According to the law, districts cannot impose negative consequences on students or parents if a parent excuses their student from an assessment. Likewise, districts cannot impose burdens on students to discourage them from participating in an assessment.