Fix the flaws in CSAP

Sep 032002
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

The Colorado Student Assessment Program, or CSAP, has good intentions.

It is designed as a way to test how well our schools are teaching their students. We all, in one way or another, put tax dollars into public schools, and will probably have children we will send to these schools.

So it is reasonable that we want the schools to teach our children well.

We discussed Friday how some schools are having a tough time producing good CSAP scores and some schools’ partial answer is making school uniforms mandatory, which is not a sufficient solution.

Many schools’ CSAP scores are further hurt by some examples of cheating and errors, something that should not affect the overall score of the school.

One teacher in the Plateau School District in Sterling County photocopied last year’s test, passed it off as a study guide and barely altered the next test’s format. This teacher was fired.

This at a school that had good test scores overall, but the scores this teacher had still affected the school’s score. Plus, cheating hurt the schools’ image.

Flood Middle School in Englewood and Ca/on City Middle School committed errors in how they administered the test. The scores were not counted as a result. These are called no scores, for obvious reasons.

This is dangerous. It seems as though CSAP testing is putting pressure on teachers to produce a good score rather than what its real focus should be – producing a good education.

CSAP is not going anywhere for a while, so it needs to evolve. We call on the appropriate officials to fix this program so that one crooked teacher or one honest error does not impact schools’ overall scores, and therefore the funds they receive.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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