Amended CSAP Bill Passes 3rd Reading

During her testimony before the House Education Committee Angela Engel said:

  • "I think this represents the worst kind of learning, in the worst kind of educational system that we can hope for…My ideal for what I would like to see in Colorado is that we don't adopt one model for education, but that we adopt many models of education…Cole Middle School before it was shut down was a school for the Performing Arts. It was turning away 50% of its applicants. That's a successful school! And what we did to it instead was sa[y] "..our idea of success is your scores on standardized tests!" And that's what I'm opposed to."

Watch Angela's 5 minute testimony

It is preceded by 1.30 minutes of testimony by the president of the Colorado Association of School Boards.

Angela's latest update on the bill

House Bill 1186 passed the third reading in the Colorado House of Representatives by a margin of 54 to 11. If you are surprised by the margin, let me explain. During the second reading Rep. Cory Gardner tacked on an amendment that requires the penalty be re-enacted if participation in CSAP drops below 97%. This is especially unfortunate considering that the federal government only requires 95% participation. The bill now moves to the Senate Education Committee where we will be repeating testimony.

Here's the bottom line, in a few years, maybe even this year, parents in the state of Colorado are going to be fed up with a failed accountability system and the pressures of high-stakes testing. We're sure to exceed the 3% threshold and then we're back to where we started. I understand the need for compromise in our political system but our children have been compromised enough.

Senator Windels is the sponsor in the Senate. I have recommended that the amendment be removed. As a concession, I've suggested that the threshold be raised to 5% - in alignment with the 95% participation rate required by NCLB. If we cannot get the bill through without the 97% amendment, I have asked that the bill be killed. The danger of playing a game that can't be won is that it reinforces the misconception of failing schools when what we really have is failed priorities and policies.

Below is the list of Representatives who passed HB1186 out of the House committee. Special thanks go to Rep. Judy Solano and Senator Sue Windels for sponsoring HB1186:

Benefield, Debbie
Casso, Edward
Fischer, Randy
Kerr, Andrew
Massey, Tom
Merrifield, Michael
Peniston, Cherylin
Solano, Judy

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