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CSAP is Gone...Sort Of
Next March, all Colorado students will be taking a new statewide summative assessment. The CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program) is being replaced with the TCAP (Transitional Colorado Assessment Program). The change is being implemented because of the new Colorado Academic Standards that were adopted in 2009. These new standards, aligned with The Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) or Senate Bill 08-212, were designed to prepare all students for postsecondary and workforce readiness. The TCAP will encourage districts to begin the implementation of the new standards so that students are ready for the new assessment that will be fully aligned with the new standards by 2014. The TCAP will be designed with assessment questions that are common to both the previous Colorado Model Content Standards and the new Colorado Academic Standards.

The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires states to develop summative assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades if states are to receive federal funding for their schools. Federal money is not given based on the results of the test given. The test given by the state of Colorado is written based on the academic standards set forth by Senate Bill 08-212. These are the established content standards that all public school students should learn. The purpose of this test is to provide students, parents and schools with ongoing measurements and indicators of students’ progress towards proficiency of the Colorado Academic Standards and college and workforce readiness. Cherokee Trail uses the result of CSAP as one way to help determine academic programming for students. The over-all results of this test are used to measure and determine if schools are making AYP, Adequate Yearly Progress. According to the Department of Education, AYP is a diagnostic tool that determines how schools need to improve and where financial resources should be allocated.

All schools in Colorado are “graded” and earn one of four Plan Assignments based on the Framework Points earned. The Framework consists of five performance indicators.  Of these five indicators, four are determined by achievement data collected based on CSAP, now to be based on TCAP. When students do not participate or try on this test, it significantly affects the Plan Assignment for this school. A low Plan Assignment affects the reputation of Cherokee Trail. The academic reputation of this school can play a role in each of our student’s futures.

One of the specific requirements for Cherokee Trail High School to make AYP and to secure its high Plan Assignment rating is a 95% participation rate on state assessments. According to the Colorado Department of Education, AYP participation rates are based on participation in CSAP or CSAP-A. All students are included in the participation rate calculations, regardless of length of time enrolled. If a school drops below the 95% participation rate in two or more subject areas, the school is automatically assigned a plan type one category lower than their points indicate. CTHS has earned the “Performance Plan” rating, the highest category, again for the 2010-2011SY. 
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