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Westminster Public School students are set to begin CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success) testing next week to measure student end-of-the-year progress in English language arts, math, and science. The tests are mandated by the Colorado Department of Education with results coming out during the summer months.
Students in grades three through eight take the CMAS tests in math and English language arts. Students in fifth, eighth, and 11th grades take the CMAS science assessments.
Westminster Public Schools encourages families and students to take the tests seriously and do as well as possible, but historically the district has been at odds with the state over the emphasis on high-stakes testing. CMAS test results are the primary instrument the state uses to measure learning success, but do not necessarily reflect a student’s background, especially for those students coming from poverty or with language challenges.
The district’s Competency Based System (CBS) recognizes that students learn differently and stresses the importance of students mastering a learning subject before moving to the next level. It means some students move ahead more quickly while others take more time to master learning content. Because the CMAS tests are based on age, some students are tested on content they haven’t been exposed to.
The state has made online tutorials and practice resources available on this website.