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Pause on 2020-21 and 2021-22 State Accountability System Due to COVID-19
A second year of Accountability Pause (2021-22) has been authorized by the Colorado legislature. The state's accountability system has been paused for 2021-22.
More details on the implications of a pause in state accountability are available in the links below.
Accreditation and the Education Accountability Act
Many questions have arisen about what accreditation means and how it relates to the Education Accountability Act. CDE created a Fact Sheet to answer those questions.
Changes to Accountability Clock - House Bill 18-1355
House Bill 18-1355 makes several modifications to Colorado’s accountability law, in particular to the Accountability Clock. The majority of these changes go into effect with the 2019 Performance Frameworks. For a summary of adjustments in the performance watch process (e.g., language, progression through clock), see the Performance Watch Summary.
About the Accountability Clock
Colorado’s accountability system, created under the Education Accountability Act of 2009, is based upon the premise that schools and districts that meet state expectations for student academic performance should hold increased autonomy, whereas those not meeting state expectations will receive increased support and monitoring. Schools and districts not meeting expectations in achievement, growth and postsecondary workforce readiness, as determined by the School and District Performance Frameworks, are assigned a plan type of Priority Improvement or Turnaround. Per state law, schools and districts cannot retain one of those plan types for five consecutive years before significant action must be taken. This statutory timeline is referred to as the Accountability Clock.
Priority Improvement & Turnaround Supplement
For more detailed information on the accountability requirements for Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools and districts, please see the Priority Improvement and Turnaround Supplement to the CDE District Accountability Handbook.
View the Priority Improvement & Turnaround Supplement (PDF) (updated August 2018)
House Bill 18-1355
House Bill 18-1355 makes several modifications to Colorado’s accountability law, in particular to the Accountability Clock. The majority of these changes go into effect with the 2019 Performance Frameworks. For a summary of key changes, please see the HB 18-1355 Performance Watch Summary.
End-of-Clock Recommendation Process
If a school or district receives a plan type of Priority Improvement or Turnaround for five consecutive years, then the State Board of Education must direct an action to the local board of education. The State Board has discretion to take action prior to the end of the Accountability Clock for schools and districts with Turnaround plans.
Schools and districts on the Accountability Clock for any period of time should be implementing research-based strategies of appropriate scope and intensity to improve student outcomes. After five consecutive years, the local board will be directed by the State Board of Education as to which strategy, or pathway, to pursue. This may include school closure, converting schools to a charter school, working with an external management partner, seeking innovation status for a school or group of schools, or district reorganization. In considering appropriate actions, the State Board will refer to a recommendation from the State Review Panel and a report from the Commissioner of Education. School districts may also provide a proposal for their preferred pathway to the State Board.
Accountability Pathways Resources
When a school or district reaches the end of the accountability clock, CDE staff will work with the district to select a pathway that is best suited to create dramatic change. We are continuing to develop resources to support this process. Below are guidance documents for each pathway, as well as rubrics for school districts submitting innovation or management plans on behalf of a school, set of schools, or the district. The rubrics are intended to guide planning for Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools and districts pursuing the innovation or management pathways. The rubrics will also be used by CDE staff to inform the Commissioner’s report and assess whether the plan, if implemented, will have significant, rapid and positive impact on student learning.
Pathway Guidance Documents
Accountability Pathways Grant
The Accountability Pathways Planning grant is intended to support Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and schools nearing the end of the Accountability Clock to explore pathway options, take thoughtful action, and increase readiness for discussions with the State Board of Education. The Accountability Pathways Planning grant is now part of the ESSA Application for School Improvement (EASI).
State Board Accountability Actions
Please see State Board Accountability Actions for a list of actions and corresponding materials.