Transition to college- and career-ready standards:
The Colorado State Board of Education has adopted new P-12 standards, incorporating the Common Core State Standards. This new set of college- and career-ready expectations is called the Colorado Academic Standards. Upon adoption, CDE launched a plan to ensure in-depth training and smooth implementation by 2014-15. Colorado will use $3.0 million in Phase 3 Race to the Top funds over four years to support eight “Content Collaboratives,” each composed of talented educators and content experts from across the state, to help develop and disseminate high-quality tools that can build local capacity in implementing the new standards. The Colorado Academic Standards call for students not only to acquire new knowledge but also to demonstrate mastery through application and transfer of concepts and skills. As such, current instructional and assessment practices will need to be transformed, with the ultimate goal of better monitoring student learning and tailoring instruction. The Content Collaboratives will serve as state-level professional learning communities designed to transform how Colorado educators view the interaction of standards and assessments—and to give educators actual tools they can use in the classroom to improve practice.
Specifically, the Collaboratives will focus on the following activities:
- Support the creation of instructional materials and classroom-level assessments in the state’s content areas;
- Support the creation, vetting, and dissemination of assessment items to inform instruction in the new standards and for use, as appropriate, with educator evaluations; and
- Ensure STEM concepts are integrated in tools for all subject areas, and not relegated only to science and math, drawing on Colorado’s external STEM resources (business/industry, higher education, science partners, etc.).