Opinion: Getting Rid of CSAP?

Education Planning on November 7th, 2014 4 Comments

Will the Public Accept Getting Rid of CSAP Without Another Means of Accountability?


Angela Engel’s editorial in the Denver Business Journal is a bit provocative and she certainly doesn’t mince any words.  While the academic part of school districts isn’t my bailiwick I’ve certainly heard a lot of educators mention the same points.  So here are a couple of questions about which we’d like to hear your comments.

  1. Do you agree with her position on testing?
  2. And, if so, what’s the alternative that will get public buy-in as a measure of academic progress?

I don’t believe the public will accept getting rid of CSAP without another means of “accountability” put in its place.  So, if the education community doesn’t want CSAP, what can be done to gain that trust?  We’ll have to put some other accountability mechanism on the table if CSAP or other testing is to go away.  What do you think? Send me an email or leave a reply below, and we’ll summarize the comments we receive and report the results in our next newsletter.  Thanks and stay tuned.

Denny Hill, SRW

Denny Hill is Advising Consultant for Strategic Resources West and may be contacted at dennyh@strategicwest.com.


4 Responses to “Opinion: Getting Rid of CSAP?”

  1. Dave Meyer says:

    It’s an interesting question and to me seems to be a perfect example of good intentions with bad outcomes. Too often we hear about teachers “teaching the test” rather than expanding the minds of the students. Education should not be as much about memorizing information as teaching our students to think and problem solve. I’m not aware of any standardized testing that can truly measure a students problem solving abilities. And we all know that standardized tests are not an accurate measurement of a students knowledge or abilities. That being said I would prefer to see CSAP eliminated as a vehicle for measuring progress.

    I believe that school districts should be under local control (not Federal or State Level) and that each district should measure progress based on communities needs. That means that the local school boards and parent associations should be responsible for identifying and measuring progress of their schools.

    Standardized tests are an intellectually lazy way to determine if a school district is meeting the needs of the students.

  2. Denny Hill says:

    Politicos and many others strongly believe in the old strategic planning axiom “what gets measured gets improved”. While this is certainly true for many business activities such as manufacturing the pundits don’t seem to grasp the fact that education is an entirely different animal. Thus, it requires much different “measures”, perhaps as many as there are students. Therein lies the problem as CSAP and other standardized tests compare apples and oranges when we should be measuring individual students’ progress. Achieving such an equitable measure, if possible, would be complex, extremely time consuming and, likely, quite expensive. I hope others can add to our comments and concerns as it is most certainly an important issue.

  3. Stan Scheer says:

    The state testing is based on an assumption that it provides accountability for the state. Sadly, for the money that is spent, does it really? It certainly is not to be questioned because, ironically, if it were and those at the state level including the legislature were held “accountable” for these policies and all the cost associated with this, they would get a score of “unsatisfactory”. The state’s policies on testing remind me of a poor golfer. The harder they swing the lousier they are at playing the game. It is counter intuitive not to swing so hard. It is counter intuitive to believe the best place to have true accountability is at the local level at the classroom level. Ironically that is actually where it resides (daily) anyway. The State of Colorado is now swinging harder than ever and it finally is telling based on the recent reaction from high school seniors in this state who are questioning it’s value! So…who is taking responsibility at the state level for this latest political attempt at swinging harder for accountability’s sake. Practicing the wrong swing over and over does not make you a better golfer…you only become more of a “duffer”! The state needs a new swing coach who understands the counterintuitive nature of the sport! It is very hard to see the true picture when you are inside the frame!

  4. Lori Isenberger says:

    As a former teacher I have never felt that state tests accomplished much! They really don’t compare like situations. An achievement test is best given in the classroom to determine what has been learned. Comparing this year against last year is not much of a test. We need to keep asking our students to reach higher and set the goals accordingly. Challenge them and make them do work that is going to make them think and use what they have been taught. Right now we are giving summative tests which make states, districts and parents feel good about their schools. Is that our objective?

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