Colorado House Democrats
(March 3) – With a 61-0 vote, the House today gave final approval to a bill sponsored by Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Jim Wilson, R-Salida, to allow students from kindergarten through third grade who are English language learners to take their annual required reading test in their language of instruction, rather than being double-tested.
“This test is meant to demonstrate how well a student can read, and when it’s given to students in their language of instruction, it gives us better indicators of reading ability and gives teachers the information they need to help their students improve,” said Rep. Hamner. “This bill cuts testing time and increases instructional time for the very students who need it.”
“It was great to work with Rep. Hamner on this bill,” said Rep. Wilson. “It simplifies the process to answer two critical questions: one, can you read? And two, how well?”
Currently, although the purpose is to evaluate reading ability and not language proficiency, some students are required to take their annual reading assessment in both Spanish and English. Double testing these students unnecessarily overburdens a specific subgroup of students, risks misidentifying of English learners as having significant reading deficiencies, and is not aligned with other state assessment policies.
HB17-1160 now proceeds to the Senate.