The West Steps: Statewide assessments—what are they and why should we talk more about them?

Written by: Children's Campaign
Date Posted: April 2, 2021

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? The onset of the pandemic has prevented educators, policymakers, and community leaders from accessing fully comprehensive data regarding how kids are learning. With students’ lives being turned upside down this past year, assessment data has become more important than ever in quantifying how exactly the pandemic has impacted student learning. By using assessments in a more comprehensive way, we can create stronger K-12 systems that provide the necessary support and resources students need as they return to the classroom.

Episode 8 of The West Steps introduces one of the most highly misunderstood topics in education. Stephanie Perez-Carrillo, the Children’s Campaign’s Policy and Partnerships Manager, joins us for our first discussion of assessments this season, and sets the parameters for how these tests impact kids and families. Stephanie emphasizes the current opportunity we have in reframing how we use assessments to meet the moment in creating more equitable K-12 systems for students and educators. As a vital tool for ensuring kids have access to the support they need, assessments ultimately serve as the beginning of a solution that will provide every chance for every child.

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About Children's Campaign

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