In the 1990s the Independence Institute helped to pioneer the idea of school report cards, a first step to empowering parents with information about the academic achievement of Colorado public schools. During that same time the state of Colorado began to implement the Colorado Statewide Assessment Program (CSAP), which now tests students from grades 3 to 10 in areas that include reading, writing, math and science.

The Colorado General Assembly adopted legislation in 2000 creating the School Accountability Reports. Starting in 2009, the state now measures public school performance using the Colorado growth model, which takes into account both schoolwide testing status and year-to-year gains by individual students.

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