GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of Colorado high school students continued to skip mandatory state tests on Friday to protest what many say is an unnecessary and burdensome exam.
In the Cherry Creek School District, 53 percent of students took the test on Friday, a 10 percent drop from Thursday.
Elsewhere in Colorado, students protested the test.
Students at Centaurus High School in Lafayette protested in the streets in lieu of taking the CMAS, or Colorado Measure of Academic Success, which seniors started taking this year.
“We’re taking AP, IP, ACT, SAT and college applications. So a lot to juggle without this unnecessary test,” student Noah Clay said.
According to the Boulder Valley School District, 84 percent of students refused to take the test, as of Thursday. The Cherry Creek and Douglas County districts also witnessed massive refusals.
Joyce Zurkowski, the executive director of assessment for the Colorado Department of Education, said there’s no way to force students to take the exam, despite the law requiring it.
“The high numbers in some of the schools are excessive, and we’re surprised that the districts are struggling as much as they are,” she said.
But she says the test numbers are preliminary.
“We don’t know at this point how many students will choose not to test. There’s another week of testing scheduled. So how districts are going to address makeup testing, we don’t know at this time,” she said.
The fate of the CMAS, she says, will be based on discussions between the state, the districts and the community. She says the state needs to balance everyone’s needs.
“I think it’s the future conversations about where we want to go that we need to focus on,” Zurkowski said. “How do we make the adjustments where all of us are more comfortable?”