Understanding Assessments: A Tool for Families

August 26, 2022

CEI, in partnership with Future Ready Families and Learning Heroes, is excited to share our new “Understanding Assessments: A Tool for Families” resource to support families in navigating the various assessments their students may engage in throughout a school year and how feedback from each can be used.

As individual students and the state overall move toward learning recovery, families need to understand the different kinds of data they should be provided with to understand their student’s progress. While large-scale assessments such as CMAS and PSAT/SAT receive the lion’s share of 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 data story they tell for students and schools. This is particularly relevant for conversations between caregivers and teachers at the start of a new school year.    

CEI believes families who are more knowledgeable about the assessment system can have better informed conversations about the learning and instruction that takes place in the classroom and about their own students’ progress. The few resources that exist for this purpose are most often created for practitioners in schools. This tool has been created with families in mind to help inform and empower strong relationships and support.  

Available in English and Spanish, the current version of this tool offers insight into the most common types of assessments used. Additionally, building on the partnership with Learning Heroes CEI launched in 2021, we have updated the suite of materials available on Future Ready Families that every family in Colorado can use as they team up with teachers for back to school. Tools include a new Dear Teacher Letter, Readiness Check, Parent-Teacher Planning Tool, Social/Emotional resources/videos and more. 

CEI thanks Seek Common Ground and Colorado family-facing organizations who supported the development of these tools. 

We are eager to partner with schools and districts who are interested to adapt the Understanding Assessments tool for their specific context and set of assessments. If you would like a version customized for your community or have other feedback about support needed to share this work within your communities, please contact CEI Policy and Assessment Redesign Director Jared Anthony