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State Accountability - Alternative Education Campuses

The Education Accountability Act of 2009 (SB 09-163) authorizes the Colorado Department of Education to conduct an annual review of the performance of the public schools in the state and to make recommendations to the State Board of Education concerning whether the public school shall implement a Performance, Improvement, Priority Improvement or turnaround plan. The law also authorizes the Department to conduct a distinct performance review for those schools that meet the definition of an Alternative Education Campus (AEC). The state's performance framework for AECs takes into account the unique purposes of the campuses and the unique circumstances of the challenges posed by the students enrolled in the campuses.


Nominations Sought for Alternative Education Campus Accountability Work Group

In accordance with H.B.15-1350, CDE is forming a work group of stakeholders this summer from the Alternative Education Campus (AEC) community to gather feedback on the next iteration of Alternative Education Campus accountability, specifically the AEC School Performance Framework. CDE is gathering recommendations of candidates for the workgroup from across the community to represent a diverse spectrum of ideas and opinions. The final group of candidates will form a 15-person workgroup that will make recommendations to the commissioner. Information regarding the workgroup is available at the link below. To nominate yourself or a peer, email resumes and cover letters to by Friday, June 5.

Schools Designated as Alternative Education Campuses

Below are the lists of AECs in 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-2015 as approved by the State Board of Education.

Required Forms

Schools interested in applying for AEC designation must complete the below forms, with their district/authorizer's support.


Last Updated

File Type

Selection of Accountability Measures for Alternative Education Campuses

  • By June 30, all Alternative Education Campus schools must submit a selection of accountability measures form, with their district or authorizer's approval, indicating any optional supplemental accountability measures, metrics, and cut-points they are requesting to be used in their AEC School Performance Framework report.
May 10, 2016 Excel

Application and Renewal for Designation as an Alternative Education Campus

  • By April 29, 2016, all schools seeking designation as an Alternative Education Campus or renewal as an Alternative Education Campus for the 2016-17 school year will need to submit an Application/Renewal form, with their district or authorizer’s approval, verifying that the school meets or continues to meet eligibility criteria. On March 8, 2016, all districts seeking renewal or new designation received a pre-populated application from CDE and this form must be returned to CDE. The form on the website is for informational purposes only for districts seeking new AEC designation for a school. If a district is seeking new designation, please contact
March 8, 2016



Unified Improvement Plan Template for Alternative Education Campuses (version 7.0)

  • Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools must use this template to submit their Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) by January 2015. Improvement and Performance schools must use this template to submit their UIP by April 2015.
  • View more information
June 10, 2015




Schools interested in applying for AEC designation, with their district/authorizer's support, should review the resources below to help in the completion of required forms.


Last Updated

File Type

Policy Guidance: Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses

  • This document guides schools and districts through the AEC application and accountability process.
May 10, 2016

Accuplacer on the AEC SPF

  • This webinar addresses concerns with the way districts have submitted Accuplacer as an additional measure. A link to the webinar recording can be found here.
September, 2014 PDF

Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses, and Proposed Changes for 2013-14

  • This slideshow guides schools and districts through the basics of the AEC statute, rules, accountability process, and proposed changes for the 2013-14 school year.
June 23, 2013 PDF

Selection of Measures Compiled Responses 2012

  • This document represents all the selected measures for the 2012 AEC SPFs.
June 5, 2013 Excel

Calculation Guidance for Alternative Education Campus Measures

  • This resource guides schools and districts through the AEC required and supplemental measures, including definitions and calculation formulas.
June 11, 2012



NWEA MAP Growth Data - Research Paper on Norms for AECs

  • This research paper provides the research-based rationale for the calculation of growth results on the NWEA MAPS assessments using AEC norms.
May 2011



NWEA MAP Growth Data - Calculation Guidance for AECs

  • This resource guides schools and districts through the calculation of growth results on the NWEA MAP assessments using AEC norms.
July 2012



NWEA MAP Achievement and Growth Data - CDE Webinar for AECs

  • This webinar presentation guides schools and districts through the calculation of achievement and growth results on the NWEA MAP assessments using AEC norms.
July 2012



Scantron Achievement and Growth Data - CDE Webinar for AECs

  • This webinar presentation seeks district and school feedback on the use of Scantron assessment data within the AEC School Performance Framework report.
July 2012




On April 13, 2011, the State Board of Education voted to amend the following rules concerning accountability for Alternative Education Campuses:

Research and Development

The Department's intention is to initiate and foster a process of research, development, and continuous improvement. Thus, the Department encourages the ongoing effort to develop rigorous measures that are well-calculated to capture the success of Alternative Education Campuses in fulfilling their mission. The annual submission of the Selection of Measures form is necessary, as the Department anticipates that some AECs may modify their selected measures form year to year. However, the Department also encourages AECs and districts to carefully evaluate the value of any adjustments to their frameworks, as consistency from year to year is critical to gauging progress over time.

The current Alternative Education Campus School Performance Framework report and accountability process reflect the result of collaboration between the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado League of Charter Schools, the Colorado Coalition of AECs, and other stakeholder groups across the state. Many of the AEC SPF's measures, metrics, and cut-points are informed by the initial work conducted by the Colorado Coalition for Alternative Education campuses during the 2009-10 school year. In addition, during the 2010-11 school year, the Department met multiple times with AEC stakeholder groups to develop the AEC SPF criteria and components.

The documents below reflect archived materials from these stakeholder meetings.

For More Information

Please contact Jessica Knevals,, 303-866-6778.

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