Friday, April 15, 2011

The CSAP is Dead. Long Live the CSAP (err, TCAP)

The Colorado Department of Education just announced the name of the test that will replace the CSAP next year - it will be called the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP). It's "transitional" because it's a bridge between the current test and the new test that will be coming in 2014 once our new state standards (based on the Common Core) are fully in place. (I predict it will be called the Colorado Common Core Assessment Program, or C3AP ™.)

No word on whether the TCAP (or the C3AP ™) will, in the words of Will Richardson,
. . . tell us anything about the qualities we most want from our children: a love of learning, a willingness and the patience to grapple with important, real problems, and the ability to make sense of the world as they experience it.


  1. Just hope that they don't name it the Colorado Required (or Regional) Assessment Program.

  2. I read Karl Fisch’s article “The CSAP is Dead. Long Live (err, TCAP)” it is the transition between CSAP and the new test being put in place on 2014. In the article it states that nobody will know if the article will show our children’s traits that parents want them to have. I am agreeing with what Mr. Fisch and Will Richardson are saying about saying nobody knows what this test will teach our students or if will teach them anything. People want to know how will this test show my students best qualities. So if this new test is going to teach and help reflect on students learning then how? I have been taking CSAPs for as long as I can remember and I don’t see how they can change this new test the TCAP to help learn from the material. Will this test help the students instead of just a school trying to be the best, but nobody knows. Students, parents, and teachers will just have to see if this test helps out the education of students in a positive way.

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  4. At least it is not an acronym like VA state test. The SOL...

  5. Dear Mr. Karl Fisch –
    After reading your article “The CSAP is Dead. Long Live the CSAP (err, TCAP)” I began to think deeply about standardized tests and my true feelings about them. My decision? Standardized testing is a completely necessary part of schooling. My reasoning for this is that colleges need to compare applicants side by side. GPA’s do not tell nearly as much because an A in a class could reflect a student’s knowledge, but also could reflect an easy class. Also, I felt like Will Richardson’s quote was not very well thought out and I disagree with his views. I agree on the fact that students need to be able to handle “real problems” and “the ability to make sense of the world as they experience it” but these things can be achieved just by living, and schools should never have to teach students this and therefore would have no reason to test students on it. Also, I think that instilling a “love for learning” in students is just flat out unreasonable and will most likely never be achieved. In the future, I would hope to see standardize tests used more for decision making on class placement and college applications.

  6. Chase - Thanks for your thoughts. Four questions:

    1) Why do colleges need to "compare applicants side by side?"

    2) What evidence do you have that standardized tests tell you anything about the potential for success in college (or in life)?

    3) Why do you think instilling a love of learning is "flat out unreasonable?"

    4) Why do you separate "living" from "school?" Is school not part of your life? What exactly do you feel the purpose of school (or "education" if you prefer) is?

  7. Dear Mr. Fisch,
    I read your "CSAP is dead" blog and it intrigued me because of the fact that it addresses which was that the name is changing. Personally I disagree with the standardized testing methods such as CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program) and MAPS (Measures of Academic Progress) because they are designed to show what a student has learned over the school year but the students stress about it and the test officially becomes busy work. I was in third grade when CSAP started and even then it was an insanely stressful situation. Now I’m in high school and I’ve done it so many times that it feels like busy work. I don’t feel that the standardized testing helps me at school much at all. The fact that they’re changing the name doesn’t change that most students don’t try very hard on the test because it doesn’t affect our grade. I know that what I just said was that we as students don’t try hard unless the grades are at risk, but it’s completely true. The Standardized testing doesn’t affect a student academically; therefore it doesn’t affect the mindset of an average student. (Average being the typical “my grades kind of matter, but I still won’t do my homework). The point is that the name can change but the process is still the same and it will have the same affect on students as TCAP as it did on CSAP. Unless provided a motivation that isn’t completely school related, the test is dead anyway and the students grade on the test will gradually decline.

  8. Dear Mr. Karl Fisch,
    I read your article "The CSAP is Dead. Lon live the CSAP (err,TCAP)"about the transition of CSAP and the new test being put out in 2014. I agree with you article, and I agree with you saying that this new test could or could not teach students anything. What education needs is a test that will actually show student what they do need help on or what they don’t need help on. I have been taking CSAP since about 1st grade and I don’t see why their making a new test called the TCAP. Also, this test could really help students and the new test could be better than the actually test "CSAP". If this is the case then students will get smarter over the years taking TCAP.