Over the next few weeks, thousands of Colorado students will take their second year of the new PARCC standardized tests that prompted thousands of opt outs last year.
Because of high refusal rates last year – 65,000 statewide – state lawmakers responded by reducing the number of tests and making them shorter. Twelfth graders will no longer take state tests and 10th and 11th graders will take different tests instead of the new PARCC tests that prompted complaints last year.
It’s estimated the typical Denver student will spend between six and seven hours being tested this year. In districts with high opt-outs last year, school officials have emailed and phoned parents and held pep rallies urging participation.
Districts will not be penalized if they don’t reach 95 percent participation but must engage in good-faith efforts to test all students. Officials say the data is crucial for knowing how students are progressing.