Colorado Student Assessment Program (page 2)

— State: Colorado Department of Education
Updated on Oct 27, 2011

You can help by:

  • Monitoring your child’s performance during the year. Ask questions if you don’t understand the reasons why your child received a certain grade.
  • Obtaining information about the Colorado Model Content Standards. Your child’s teacher or guidance counselor can provide you with this information.
  • Telling your child that you believe that he/she can do well and succeed in school. Stress that students get good grades by hard work and not just because “some students are smart.” Offer praise and encouragement for achievement and improvement.
  • Using television wisely. Limit viewing to 2 hours or less on a school night.
  • Establishing a daily routine for meals, homework, chores, bedtime, and family talk.

What is CSAP?

CSAP stands for Colorado Student Assessment Program. It is a test designed to measure student achievement in relationship to the Colorado Model Content Standards. These standards are expectations specifying what students should know at particular points in their education. As a result, CSAP provides a series of snapshots of student achievement in reading, writing, math, and science as they move through grades 3–10.

Who writes the CSAP assessments?

CSAP is developed collaboratively by the testing contractor and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Teachers, curriculum specialists, and community members from across the state are involved in constructing each new assessment.

How long does the test take?

Each subject area of the CSAP (reading, writing, math and science) takes three testing sessions. Third grade reading and writing are the exception, which take two testing sessions. Testing sessions last about an hour.

Who scores the tests?

Multiple choice questions are machine-scored. The open-ended written responses are scored by well-trained certified scorers. All the scorers have college degrees.

How did the State decide who would be advanced, proficient, partially proficient, or unsatisfactory?

The performance levels were established by Colorado teachers from across the state. Each question/item was discussed in order to specify knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have to correctly answer the question or item. A complete examination of this question is available on CDE’s website:

Is my child required to take the CSAP?

Yes, every student enrolled in the grades for which there is a CSAP assessment is expected to take it.

My child is a special needs student. Does he/she have to take the CSAP?

Appropriate accommodations are allowed to assist students with special needs in taking the assessment. Each school district determines when it is not appropriate to administer the CSAP to certain students. Students with significant disabilities may have a different level of expectations and would not benefit by taking the CSAP. In Spring 2001, an alternate assessment program (CSAP-A) was available for grade 4 students. Alternate assessments for all other grades will be added in the future.
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