Letter from Commissioner Jones
To the Education Community of Colorado,
From early childhood to higher education, the preparation, progress and success of each student is at the center of the Colorado Department of Education’s work. The work is defined by our responsibilities to help close achievement gaps and to support all P-12 students in meeting and exceeding academic standards. We approach these responsibilities with a sense of urgency.
In 2007, the Colorado Department of Education released Forward Thinking, the state’s plan for increasing high school graduation rates and closing achievement gaps. Since then, the department has reiterated its commitment to provide guidance and support to districts and schools; to enhance professional development; and to develop tools to eliminate gaps and increase learning achievement throughout Colorado.
In 2008-2009 CDE launched the Colorado Growth Model to enable parents, schools, districts and the state to understand annual individual student progress and how much growth is needed for each student to achieve proficiency on the state standards. As well, through the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4Kids), academic standards were revised and high expectations set for P-12 learners.
It is clear that literacy is key to academic achievement across all disciplines. As a focus for the 2009-2010 academic year, the department sought to create a coherent system of support from preschool through postsecondary literacy initiatives. Thus, the Colorado Department of Education leaders and staff collaborated to develop the Colorado Literacy Framework to inform the department’s work in literacy and provide foundational support for literacy achievement. Its purpose is to assist CDE in providing leadership, consultation and professional development to Colorado’s 178 local school districts and to support and assist all Colorado students in reaching proficiency in the academic standards.
With aligned policies and focused priorities, the Colorado Department of Education is committed to providing guidance and research-based support to parents and school professionals in their concerted efforts to increase literacy achievement for every learner.
Dwight D. Jones
Commissioner of Education