May 16, 2014





QUESTION #2: What are the Common Core test requirements for home schooled children?



Home schooled students are required to take a nationally standardized test. However, if a parent or legal guardian requests it, a district shall permit a home schooled student to take the state assessment and provide the results of the assessment to the parent or legal guardian. The test is given only to home schooled students whose parents request that the child participate in the testing. (22-7-409 (III)(1.3)(b), C.R.S.)

– See more at:
NOTE: Accuracy reviewed & verified by Joyce Zurkowski/Assessment Unit Supervisor/Colorado Department of Education



QUESTION #3: How do Common Core tests accommodate special needs students?



State and federal law require all students to be held to the same standards and participate in the state assessment program.

There are three ways that students with disabilities can participate in the state assessments:

1) take the general assessment without accommodations;

2) take the general assessment with accommodations; and

3) take the alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

What are accommodations and what are some examples?

Accommodations are changes in how the test is given without changing what is being assessed.Students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 plan or English Learn (EL) plan, can use specific accommodations allowing the student better access to the test as long as there’s alignment between the accommodation and the student’s educational plan. That plan may also indicate the student is eligible to participate in Colorado’s alternative tests in science and social studies. Accommodations can be divided into four categories:

1. Presentation accommodations – changes in the way test items are presented to a student (i.e., large print, braille, oral presentation, translated oral presentation, etc.);
2. Response accommodations – changes in the way a student responds to test items (i.e., uses scribe, responds in Spanish, uses assistive technology device, etc.);
3. Setting accommodations – changes in the test environment’s setting (i.e., small group or individual administration); and/or
4. Timing accommodations – changes in the scheduling of the assessment (i.e., allowing multiple breaks, providing extra time, testing at specific times of the day, etc.).

The CMAS: Science and Social Studies assessment administration time includes an extended time allotment of time-and-a-half for all students. Students who have an extended time need beyond time-and-a-half documented in an approved IEP, 504, or EL plan my be provided with additional time..

What is the CoAlt?
A small number of students, approximately one percent of the student population, take the Colorado Alternate (CoAlt) assessment. These are students who have significant cognitive disabilities. Special accommodations are built into the CoAlt specifically for these students.

NOTE: Accuracy reviewed & verified by Joyce Zurkowski/Assessment Unit Supervisor/Colorado Department of Education

  1. Anonymous
    June 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Pursuant to Colorado law, homeschool students are NOT required to take a standardized test. This is simply one of the two options provided for in Colorado law. The second option is to have a qualified individual certify that the curriculum taught at home meets all requirements. This can be a licensed teacher, or even someone who has a graduate degree.

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