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House GOP Newsletter  
April 27, 2015  Like

An adequate balance of testing and assessments

Weekly Update   ♦Upcoming Bills   ♦Press Releases

♦In the News   ♦Tweets of the Week   ♦Capitol Pictures

An adequate balance of testing and assessments

By Representative Jim Wilson (R-Salida)

This session, determining an adequate balance of testing and assessments has been the source of rigorous debate here at the legislature, as well as among parents and teachers. Within this debate I believe it's important to discuss the difference between tests and assessments and why the implementation of these educational tools is a topic of concern.  

First, let me differentiate between tests and assessments. Tests demonstrate how well a student can comprehend and understand specific material. For instance, a math teacher may use an arithmetic test to measure how well their students can add and subtract. An assessment on the other hand, measures a student's proficiency level as well as how the student compares to others within the grade level from school to school and from district to district.  

From my experience as a former educator, principal and superintendent, testing styles are best determined by teachers and should be customized to fit how their students learn. Good teachers achieve great results using tailored teaching and testing methods. Assessments however, help to determine the effectiveness of these methods and examine how each school and district compares to others throughout the state.

While assessments do serve an important purpose, every minute spent on this process is time teachers cannot teach. Determining how much time to spend administering assessments is not easy, but recalling my ranching days serves as an appropriate metaphor. A rancher tries to get his steers as fat as possible and in order to formally weigh each one, he must load them in a trailer and haul them to a scale. He could weigh his steers every day, but this process takes away from their time to eat, and ultimately keeps them from gaining much weight. However, if the rancher feeds his cows well all year, he'll see vast progress the next time he places them on the scale – which, departing from this metaphor, is every teacher's goal. Like a scale, assessments help measure students' comparable comprehension, yet their knowledge will not grow if it is not fed through effective teaching.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and I welcome any questions about the education process. You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting 


Jim Wilson

House GOP Weekly Update

Representative J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) gives the weekly House GOP Update for the week of April 20-24th. 

Click here to view previous weekly updates.

Upcoming Bills of Interest

House Concurrent Resolution 1003 -- Modify Operations of the General Assembly

Representatives Paul Lundeen (R-Monument) and Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth) 

Tuesday, April 28, House Business Affairs and Labor Committee, upon adjournment. 

House Bill 1109 -- Additional SB 09-228 Transfers to Highway Users Tax Fund and Cap. Construct

Representative Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) 

Wednesday, April 29, House Finance Committee, 1:30 pm.

Senate Bill 268 -- Offenses Against Unborn Children

House hearing is pending Senate passage. Please review the daily House Calendar for updates. 

Press Releases

In the News

 Tweets of the Week 

Never Forget. WE ARE COLUMBINE!!

Elimination of red light cameras bill heading to committee of the whole for discussion. Congrats @SteveHumphrey48 & @RepKVW#coleg

 Remembering Armenian Genocide in Colorado State House today. Do not let history repeat itself.  #ArmenianGenocide

Capitol Pictures

Representative Jim Wilson with the family of fallen hero Army Ranger Christopher Horns.

Representative Jim Wilson (R-Salida) with the family of fallen hero Army Ranger Christopher Horns.

Representative J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) studying on the House floor where he typically turns on the lights in the morning and turns out the lights at night.

Representative Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth) poses with students from Eads High School in Kiowa City during their visit to the state capitol.  

You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting

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