For districts assigned with Priority Improvement or Turnaround plans, CDE provides a variety of supports. The department focuses on a partnership approach to identifying the best solutions to strengthen school and district performance:
- CDE assigns a dedicated Performance Manager to serve as the point person between the district and CDE. IT is the goal of the office to establish and maintain partnerships with districts over a period of multiple years.
- Technical assistance may include:
- the analysis of performance data
- the design of Unified Improvement Plans
- academic-performance diagnostic reviews
- training to districts with academic performance challenges in their schools, as well as to higher performing districts to ensure successful implementation of performance objectives toward improving academic growth, achievement, closing the achievement gaps and enhancing postsecondary/workforce readiness.
- The Performance Manager will work through the Superintendent and may work with other district leaders, as well as identified school leaders.
For schools assigned with Priority Improvement or Turnaround plans, CDE seeks to prioritize and offer limited targeted support in conjunction with the school’s district, regardless of the accreditation rating of the district.
- CDE seeks to support low performing schools through providing technical assistance to school leaders and through building capacity within districts to support their low performing schools.
- For identified schools, the Performance Manager or Field Services Manager will work through the Superintendent in collaboration with the school leader.
CDE encourages the use of third-party diagnostic reviews for districts and schools, in order to identify challenges, prioritize, and plan for dramatic change. CDE will determine eligibility lists for funding for such reviews and will facilitate their implementation. CDE has revised the district and school standards and indicators for successful practices - these will be used in the diagnostic reviews.
Priority Improvement & Turnaround Orientations
Recently, CDE hosted five Priority Improvement and Turnaround orientations across the state. This orientation was designed to provide school and district leaders with an introduction to CDE’s support for districts and schools with Priority Improvement and Turnaround ratings. Participants gained an understanding of the data used for identification, additional expectations as a result of identification, and mechanics and implications of the accountability clock timeline. Materials from the orientations can be found below:
Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools and districts must show significant improvements in student achievement within the five-year clock, as articulated in SB 09-163. View these resources for more information:
- District Accountability handbook
- District Accreditation and School Plan Categories
- Priority Improvement and Turnaround supplement
- Flow Chart of Post-Clock Options
- Pathways for Priority Improvement and Turnaround
- Pathways for Priority Improvement and Turnaround Schools & Districts presentation (Jan. 28, 2014)
This article discusses Colorado's ability to effectively implement successful schools and district turnarounds. The report was written by the Center for Education Policy Analysis at the Buechner Institute for Governance in the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver and in partnership with the Center of Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington.
CDE developed this resource guide to support schools and districts that engage external service providers as part of their school improvement process. Regardless of whether services are purchased with grant funds or per pupil revenue, spending public money requires the highest level of transparency and prudent decision-making when it comes to purchasing processes. This guide is designed to inform best practice when it comes to identifying potential providers, issuing a request for proposal based on identified needs, evaluating potential providers and their proposals, contracting with an external provider, and evaluating and monitoring the provider's ongoing performance.