You are here

News Release - State Board discusses options to reconcile participation rules in state and federal law

Sept. 14, 2017

State board discusses options to reconcile participation rules in state and federal law

Board holds monthly meeting in Burlington

BURLINGTON, Colo. -- At its monthly meeting held this week in the eastern Colorado town of Burlington, the Colorado State Board of Education considered options for reconciling a conflict between state policies and federal education laws regarding how to handle participation on state assessments for the purposes of school accountability.

The U.S. Department of Education in August reviewed the state’s plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), flagging a discrepancy between the federal law and state policy. In Colorado, students whose parents choose to excuse them from the state assessments are not considered part of the total number of test-takers when looking at the achievement results. However, federal law says those students should be given a score of zero and counted when calculating the school’s academic achievement. Achievement scores are a component of the data used to determine which schools should receive additional federal funds for help and are required to develop improvement plans.

The ESSA stakeholder group focused on accountability will meet Sept. 21 to discuss and provide feedback on the matter. The state board will consider the feedback and then provide direction on the issue next month.

Graduation guidelines' background, recommendations and policies discussed

The board considered recommendations for updates to Colorado’s graduation guidelines. The recommendations were developed by a work group convened to review and recommend revisions following the board’s September 2015 request to have the guidelines reviewed every two years. The board is expected to vote on the recommendations at a future meeting.

Deputy Commissioner Leanne Emm honored

Leanne Emm, deputy commissioner of school finance and operations, who is retiring this month, was honored for her six years of work for CDE following 14 years of service in Jeffco Public Schools. Leanne was recognized for her clear-eyed understanding of the complicated world of school finance and her ability to explain the facets to board members, legislators and the general public.

In other actions, the board: