The Cursed Word – CSAP!!!

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Rachel Faulkner writes, It’s something many of us dread.

It’s something many of us dread. It means early bedtimes, nights of weariness after exhausing days, teachers stressing, and waiting months for themuch feared results. It looms nearer every day, waiting to pounce. No, it’s not the Ghost of Christmas Future. It’s CSAP. As CSAP week at my school begins, I find myself thinking rather sourly about the whole process. For some students, CSAPs are stretched over three weeks. For others, it’s three days of mind-blowing testing. It’s not so much that the tests are hard – it’s more that they take so much energy and time. Iunderstand the dire importance of CSAPs. They maketeachers look good, basically, meaning that ourtest results influencehowtalented the teachers appear. But let’s get down to the gritty details. CSAP, or Colorado Student Assesment Program starts in the third grade and goes through Softmore year. It’s a collection of three subjects – reading, writing, and math – and depending on grade level, science. The students take the exams in March, and hopefully get their results back in summer or autumn. Although the results don’t apply to college transcripts or educational records, they do influence the teacher’s reputation and salary. CSAPs are mandatory for public schools, but private schools and homeschools are not obligated. From what I can remember of CSAPs past, each test is fairly simple, consisting mainly of multiple choice questions and some writing prompts. The math tests involve cardboard cutout protracters, rulers, and shapes. There is much controversy about CSAPS. While some teachers and parents claim the necessity of the CSAPS, others are less certain. One mother wrote to the former Rocky Mountain News, claiming that the tests “enforce the wrong kind of learning and the lowest levels of thinking.” I personally believe the CSAPs are understandable and important in Colorado schools. Even as I stress tonight about taking my Science and Reading CSAPs tomorrow and my Writing and Math tests on the days that follow, I am ready to prove to the state that my school and I have learned and improved greatly since last year. Leave me a message below. Tell me your opinion of the CSAP. And most importantly, wish myself and your peers all around Colorado good luck on the Colorado Standardized Assesment Program!

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