Poll by Keating Research Reveals 2.5-to-1 Support for Assessments to Understand Learning Loss 

Denver, Colorado— A recent poll by Keating Research finds that 62% of voters, including 66% of parents with kids in K-12, support conducting a statewide assessment to understand student learning loss. Keating Research was one of the few pollsters in the country to accurately predict the results of the 2020 election. The poll was paid for by Democrats for Education Reform, Ready Colorado, and Colorado Succeeds. 

“Assessments have always been one important tool for measuring student progress,” said Leslie Colwell, Vice President, K-12 Education Initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “This year, when students’ worlds have been upended and schools have employed dramatically different models of instruction, they’re essential for understanding the impact that COVID-19 has had on our kids and where opportunity gaps have widened.”

DFER, Transform Education Now, Stand for Children Colorado, ReadyCO, Colorado Succeeds, Colorado Children’s Campaign, ERN, African Leadership Group, and A+ Colorado highlight recent polling by Keating Research about student learning loss because of COVID-19, support for the use of student assessments to understand learning loss, and the view that resulting data should not be used for accountability purposes. Topline results indicate that: 

  • Learning loss is the most important issue facing public schools today (43% concerned about learning during the pandemic) 

“Results from research reinforce what we are hearing from families. Parents are deeply concerned with the loss of learning”, Ariel Smith, Co-founder of Transform Education Now, stated. “They are seeing it first hand with many students still learning from home, lacking the full range of academic and social support needed by students to thrive.”

“Understanding and addressing learning loss has important implications for Colorado’s long-term  economic recovery,” said Kelly Caufield, VP of Government Affairs, Colorado Succeeds. “We know based on national research that lifetime earnings could be down due to student learning loss. Parents, educators, and schools need to understand where the learning loss is occurring so we can provide support for those students and districts who need it the most.” 

  • Support for statewide assessments is high, crosses party, regional lines 

“Across the political spectrum, Coloradans agree – having a statewide test to gauge how students are doing is common sense,” said Luke Ragland, President of Ready Colorado. “Support for an assessment to determine student learning loss is backed by an overwhelming majority of voters across all geographies, genders and political ideologies.”

  • Voters agree that assessments should not be used for educator or school accountability purposes 

“We know our districts and educators have tackled enormous challenges both this year and last. We don’t believe this data has any use in accountability,” said Prateek Dutta, Policy DIrector of DFER-Colorado. “This is strictly about understanding how Colorado’s student’s are doing after a period of enormous educational and life disruption.”

For a full analysis of this poll, please see attached a memo outlining the key findings, the release of topline results, and the crosstabs data. 

These findings are based on a random sample of 600 respondents online, among voters statewide in Colorado. This survey sample accurately represents the population of active voters statewide in Colorado based on party registration, gender, age, education, region and ethnicity. The poll was conducted from January 5 -10, 2021 by Keating Research. 


Memo | Colorado statewide poll january 2021 from Mary Willson

Topline results | Colorado statewide poll from Mary Willson