New tool provides families with a guide to understanding student assessments

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: September 16, 2022

In partnership with Future Ready Families and Learning Heroes, the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) has released a new resource to support families as they navigate the various assessments their students may engage with throughout their school year and education. “Understanding Assessments: A Tool for Families” is an essential resource as we continue to understand the many challenges the pandemic has brought to our students’ learning and testing experiences, and to our assessment data collection processes. The document provides a general overview of the assessments that students may participate in over the course of a school year, from teacher assigned work to national assessments, and information on the important data points students and families should receive from them. 

Data tell stories, and by understanding those stories, we can become better advocates for kids and families. But what happens when those data are not available – or not presented accessibly for families? As we continue working toward learning recovery for our kids, families need to understand the different kinds of data they should be provided to understand their student’s progress. 

In the context of the pandemic, assessment data has become more important than ever in quantifying how exactly pandemic disruptions have impacted student learning. While large-scale assessments such as CMAS and PSAT/SAT receive more attention when it comes to assessment in Colorado schools, it is useful for families to have a more comprehensive sense of the system of assessments students engage in, as well as the stories they can tell for students and schools. This is particularly relevant for conversations between caregivers and teachers at the start of a new school year. To learn more about assessments in Colorado, listen to The West Steps. Or, explore CEI’s new assessment tool 

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The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit