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News Release - State Board Meeting Highlights, November 9-10, 2011

Nov. 10, 2011

News Release

State board of education meeting highlights, Nov. 9 & 10

The Colorado State Board of Education met this week for a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and Thursday, Nov. 10. Highlights from the meeting include:

Educator Effectiveness Rules

The state board adopted rules for a statewide system to evaluate the effectiveness of licensed personnel as required by Senate Bill 10-191. The rules will now be sent to the Attorney General’s office to ensure they are consistent with the law. Then they will be sent to the General Assembly for review. The General Assembly will either approve the rules or repeal provisions of the rules no later than Feb. 15, 2012. For any provisions that are repealed by the General Assembly, the state board must promulgate emergency rules and re-submit the rules to the General Assembly for review no later than May 1, 2012. To read the news release, visit

Budget and Public School Finance Update

Hearings with the Joint Budget Committee will take place Nov. 16 and Dec. 1. At the third hearing on Dec. 16, CDE staff will go before the JBC and provide an overview of the most significant parts of the state’s education budget. The JBC will make a final decision on the budget in late February or early March.

Leanne Emm, assistant commissioner of public school finance reviewed portions of the governor’s budget request released earlier this month. In the Governor’s request, K-12 education funding dropped from $2.83 billion or 40.4 percent of the general fund in 2011-2012 to $2.83 billion or 39.3 percent of the general fund for 2012-2013. Assumptions in the 2012-2013 budget estimate increases in pupil growth (increase of 6,698), at-risk growth (increase of 2,666), an inflation estimate of 3.5 percent and base per pupil funding at $197.22. Actual inflation will be determined in February 2012. Preliminary assessed values from counties indicate the original decline anticipated for 2012-2013 (7.21 percent) is not as high as previously thought (5.28 percent). The proposed budget includes $7.7 million to begin implementation of Senate Bill 10-191; specifically, the request will fund three critical features of the educator effectiveness evaluation system called for in the legislation. The budget plan did not include financial support for the development of a new state testing system.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Process Update

Associate Commissioner Keith Owen noted that the department would submit its waiver request on Monday, Nov. 14. Commissioner Hammond will attend a Council of Chief State School Officers briefing on the state waiver applications that day in Washington, D.C. The event will highlight the innovative state leadership described in NCLB waiver applications submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education will make a final decision on Colorado’s waiver application by January. For more, visit

Graduation Guidelines

Deputy Commissioner Diana Sirko expressed concern regarding the timing of the graduation guidelines. Legislation and recommendations by the Graduation Guidelines Development Council were made several years ago. The deadlines for the adoption of the graduation recommendations were changed to require adoption by Dec. 15, 2011, with the idea that the implementation of the new standards would occur. Since then, several new reforms and studies have taken place, including the news standards, educator effectiveness and the work of the Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission. The department requested additional time from the board to work with the legislature to change the deadline and allow time to study new trends across the nation.

National Assessment Consortia

Representatives from the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers provided information on their respective assessments. The SMARTER Balanced assessment system incorporated formative, summative and interim assessments to ensure all students leave high school college and career ready. They touted their system as getting faster results, shorter test length, increased precision, tailored to student ability, having greater security, and mature technology such as those used in several other states.

PARCC listed its system as the next generation to provide better tests at a lower cost, rapid turnaround of results, clear and consistent signals about pathway to college and career readiness for all students, diagnostic assessments aligned to the summative assessments so they send clear signals to educators and students and the ability to benchmark performance of Colorado students against students in other states and internationally.

Perfect ACT Recognition

The Colorado State Board of Education and department honored 11 students from across the state who earned a perfect score on the Colorado American College Test (ACT) during the 2010-2011 school year. Colorado is one of ten states that provide the ACT to all juniors in Colorado public schools. The 11 students that scored a perfect 36 on their Colorado ACT are:

  • Margaret Averill, Rocky Mountain High School (Poudre School District)
  • Emily Baade, Grandview High School (Cherry Creek School District)
  • Ryan Carson, Silver Creek High School (St. Vrain Valley School District)
  • Tae Kim, Cherry Creek High School (Cherry Creek School District)
  • Bridget Louis, Arapahoe High School (Littleton Public Schools)
  • Liam Mazurowski, Palmer Ridge High School (Lewis Palmer School District 38)
  • Colleen McCollum, Liberty High School (Academy School District 20)
  • Emily Randall, Fairview High School (Boulder Valley School District)
  • Joseph Sandoval, Smoky Hill High School (Cherry Creek School District)
  • Steven Thomas, Cheyenne Mountain High School (Cheyenne Mountain School District 12)
  • Michael Zimet, Aspen High School (Aspen School District)

The Colorado State Board of Education will hold its next meeting Dec. 6 at the Colorado Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave., in Denver.

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