“Overall I can say I don’t like tests just like I don’t like eating vegetables and I don’t like exercising, but those things are important to us.”
Jhovani Becerra, a Denver Public Schools high school student says last year he took a test called called the Accuplacer which showed that his math skills weren’t up to speed to get him ready for college. Becerra said that test really showed him and his teachers that he needed extra work in that subject and helped him catch up. Becerra works with the group Padres y Jovenes Unidos, a non profit that fights for educational and health justice and dismantling the school to prison pipeline. The advocacy group has spoken out against legislation currently being debated that would allow parents to opt children out of standardized testing without penalties.
Angela Cobian is a former DPS teacher who is a Bilingual Community Organizer with Together Colorado. She says testing is important to make sure that all students in Colorado are receiving a quality education. “So to me this conversation, it’s a shame it gets stuck on too much testing or not enough testing when the problem here is equity and how are we as a community able to gauge an accurate picture of the state of education.”
Princess Mack agrees. She is a parent of students who have gone through the Denver Public School system and now she has two children getting ready to enter kindergarten. Mack says testing allows parents to have a better idea of how their children are faring in school. “I feel that all of us have a gauge that we try to understand where our level of expertise is and where our challenges are.”