The Colorado Department of Education

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General Assessment Information

The Colorado State Assessment System is designed to measure Colorado student’s mastery of the Colorado’s academic content standards. In December of 2009 Colorado adopted revised academic content standards progressing from early school readiness to postsecondary competencies reflective of both workforce readiness and 21st century skills.

In 2012 Colorado implemented the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) to reflect changes in the state adopted academic content standards and to provide information to teachers as they began incorporating the revised content standards in their daily instruction. In 2012 Colorado became a governing member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortia which is currently developing new assessments in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school. The PARCC assessments are scheduled for implementation in 2014-15.

New general and alternate assessments for science and social studies were field tested in 2013 and are scheduled for implementation in 2014.

The attainment of English proficiency by English Language Learner’s (ELL) is measured annually by an English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment. In the 2012-13 school year Colorado implemented the ACCESS for ELLs® ELP assessment developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium.

The CO ACT assessment is designed to measure students' preparedness for postsecondary educational opportunities and is administered to 11th grade students in April and May. Because the CO ACT is equivalent to all other ACT assessments the results can be submitted for college entrance by the student to their college or university of choice.


2014 State Assessment Windows

Printable Schedule
TCAP State Early Testing Window Testing Window
Grade 3 Reading & Lectura 2/10/2014 to 2/21/2014 2/24/14 to 3/7/2014
Grade 3 Writing & Escritura
Grades 4 - 10 Reading & Writing
Grade 4 Lectura & Escritura
Grades 3 - 10 Mathematics
3/3/2014 to 3/21/2014* 3/10/2014 to 4/11/2014**
Colorado Summative Assessment -
Science & Social Studies
Grades 5 & 8 Science
Grades 4 & 7 Social Studies
  4/14/2014 to 5/2/2014***
Grade 12 (High School)   Fall 2014, TBD
CoAlt - Reading, Writing & Mathematics    
Grades 3 - 10
Reading, Writing & Mathematics
  2/5/2014 to 3/14/2014
CoAlt - Science & Social Studies    
Grades 5 & 8 Science
Grades 4 & 7 Social Studies
  4/14/2014 to 5/2/2014
Grade 12 (High School)   Fall 2014, TBD
Access for ELLs ®    
Grades K - 12
Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening
  1/6/2014 to 2/7/2014
CO ACT Initial Test Date Make-up Test Date
Grade 11 Wednesday
April 23, 2014
May 7, 2014
Alternate for the CO ACT    
Grade 11 Exceptional Student Services  
* Note that the TCAP Early Test Window for grade 3-10 may be extended to 3/28/2014 if the school calendar includes
  a spring break.
** It is strongly suggested that all districts finish testing by March 28 in order to provide separation between TCAP and
    the new science and social studies assessments.
*** This window may be lengthened pending the results of the technology readiness tool.