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Hundreds Of High Schoolers Boycott New State Standardized Test

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - There are 877 seniors at Cherry Creek High School, but only 24 showed up to take the state's Colorado Measures of Academic Success test on Thursday.

Among those was senior Josh Boxer, who spent the day volunteering his time instead of taking the timed test.

Josh Boxer
Josh Boxer (credit: CBS)

"We've been taking standarized testing since we were in sixth grade -- since we were 12. I think there's way too much of it and quite frankly, I'm tired of it," said Boxer.

He was in good company. Only 3 percent of his class and 63 percent of the district actually took the new CMAS test. Cherry Creek School District officials encouraged students to take it but weren't surprised by the number of parent refusals.

"We were expecting it. We have seen growing parent concern about the number of tests that are given to students each year," said district communications director Tustin Amole.

Part of the reason for the frustration stems from the fact that test results won't be back until next fall, long after the test takers have graduated.

"They're useless. They're pointless," Boxer said.

Students from Boulder circulated a YouTube video stating their opposition to CMAS and also did so in an open letter to the community.

CMAS Protest by Cmas Protest on YouTube

They say the CMAS testing doesn't align with their high school curriculum.

In the Boulder Valley School District, the Daily Camera reports that 84 percent of students refused to take the tests Thursday, with some protesting and collecting food and school supplies for low-income families instead.

Hundreds of students in Douglas County also boycotted the test, too, according to preliminary numbers.

Districts with less than 95 percent participation in testing risk losing a level of accreditation. Officials in Cherry Creek say the discussions about the future of CMAS and the repercussions will no doubt be lively.

"We did everything we've been asked to do, and if we lose accredidation because parents and students have spoken out, then I think there's something wrong with that system," Amole said.

Students are scheduled to take a second day of CMAS tests on Friday. Amole said it's possible the attendance numbers on Friday of those taking the test will be even lower than on Thursday.

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