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The Coalition for Better Education

Susan Notes: Colorado activists have stepped up their campaign to inform parents they have the right to opt their children out of the high stakes state test.

Through grassroots fundraising, they have raised money to place large posters (in English and Spanish) with the opt out message in the malls and at bus stops. They sell bumper stickers.

The CBE was started by a group of aspiring teachers from the University of Northern Colorado.

It's rapidly expanding to teachers, parents, and students across the state.


To Raise Awareness about CSAP:

* Colorado spends more than $16 million to administer CSAP.

* Students in grades 3-10 take the CSAP every year.

* CSAP is a high-stakes test that puts a lot of pressure on teachers and students.

* CSAP does NOT measure a child's overall academic ability.

* Many educators take more than a month out of their normal curriculum to prepareand test for CSAP.

* Teaching to the test promotes shallow learning and decreases critical thinking skills and creativity.

* Teachers do NOT receive CSAP scores to assess their current students until they have moved on to the next grade level.

* Many educators believe CSAP is taking the fun out of school for children.

To Raise Awareness about No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

* There is not enough funding to implement all of the requirements of NCLB.

* It says that all states are required to have a statewide standardized assessment program.

* A school will receive a rating of UNSATISFACTORY if less than 95% of the students take CSAP (according to NCLB).

* Schools have to reach Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in order to comply with NCLB.

* All students have to be proficient in reading, math and science by the year 2014.

To Empower Parents and Teachers:

* All parents will know that their child can opt out of CSAP.

* Parents and teachers will provide insight on deciding future educational policies.

* Teachers will not be discouraged from voicing their opinions about CSAP.

* Legislators will value the expertise and concerns of parents and teachers.

* Parents, teachers and students will show legislators the consequences of high stakes testing like CSAP.

— The Coalition for Better Education



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