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News Release - Two new Colorado State Board of Education members sworn in; Marcia Neal elected board chairman, Angelika Schroeder elected vice-chairman

Jan. 8, 2015

Two new Colorado State Board of Education members sworn in; Marcia Neal elected board chairman, Angelika Schroeder elected vice-chairman

Board also directs commissioner to grant waivers for state tests; motion is currently under review by the Attorney General's Office

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 7 & 8. Highlights from the meeting include:

Board Swearing In

A swearing in ceremony was held yesterday for newly elected members Steve Durham and Val Flores and returning board members Jane Goff and Marcia Neal.  

Durham represents the 5th Congressional District and Flores represents the 1st Congressional District. Goff, who represents the 7th Congressional District was elected to fill a vacancy in March 2008 and then elected to a six-year term in November of that year and won this bid for a six-year term.  Neal was elected to the board for the 3rd congressional district in 2009 and won this bid for a six-year term.

Durham is a lobbyist and former state legislator who replaces Paul Lundeen, who was elected to the state House of Representatives. Durham will complete Lundeen's term, which runs through January 2017.

Flores was elected to a six-year term.  She earned a master’s degree in education, reading and early childhood and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, ESL, bilingual, multicultural education from the University of Houston. Her experience includes working as a classroom teacher and university professor.

Board Officers

One of the first orders of business for the new board was to elect officers. Marcia Neal was elected chairman and Angelika Schroeder (2nd Congressional District) was elected vice-chairman.

The remaining members of the Colorado State Board of Education are Pam Mazanec (4th Congressional District), and Debora Scheffel (6th Congressional District). Jane Goff and Steve Durham were appointed board legislative liaisons. 

Assessments

The Colorado State Board of Education today passed a motion on a 4-3 vote to direct the commissioner to grant waivers to school districts that request not to administer the performance-based portion of the upcoming Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests in English language arts and math.  

The Department of Education is consulting with the Attorney General’s Office to determine the legality of the directive.  If the motion is found to be legal, the department will take action based on the board’s motion.  

The department will continue to implement existing law as adopted by the Governor and the General Assembly as well as federal law and all state board rules and policies.  If and when any of those things change, the department will make changes to implementation.

The performance-based portion captures critical-thinking, reasoning and application skills through “extended tasks.” In English language arts/literacy, students read passages from real texts – fiction and non-fiction, and sometimes watch video or listen to audio. Then they write, using what they’ve learned from the passages and multi-media sources to support their arguments. In mathematics, students solve multi-step problems that require reasoning and address real world situations. This requires students to use mathematical reasoning, make sense of quantities and their relationships to solve real-world problems, and show their understanding. These skills are critically important for students in college and in the workplace.  This portion of the test is given early because it takes more time to review and score.  The second portion of the test, given later in the spring, doesn’t require as long to score.

Outstanding Educators

The board recognized Sara Shackett, a high school social studies teacher at Lakewood High School (Jeffco Public Schools), who was awarded the National Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year.  The annual National Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards recognizes exceptional classroom social studies teachers for grades K-6, 5-8, and 7-12 who teach social studies in elementary, middle, or high school settings.  Teachers must demonstrate exceptional abilities in developing or using instructional materials creatively and effectively, foster a spirit of inquiry and the development of social studies skills and foster the development of democratic beliefs and values needed for civic participation.

The board recognized the first-ever Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP Awards). The awards honor those who best demonstrate a meaningful ICAP process within a school or district. Educators nominated administrators, school counselors and teachers. The award winners are Falcon School District 49 for culture change; Jeffco Public Schools for ICAP leadership; Mesa County Valley District 51 for an exemplary ICAP team, and Crestone Charter School, in the Moffat Consolidated School District 2, for innovation.  For more, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/postsecondary/icapawards.

The board also recognized 2014 Colorado Blue Ribbon Schools: 

Cougar Run Elementary (Douglas County School District), Elk Creek Elementary (Garfield School District Re-2), Homestead Elementary (Cherry Creek Schools) and Kruse Elementary (Poudre School District). The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement. For more, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeawards/BlueRibbon

The board recognized 2015 Colorado Teacher of the Year Kathleen Thirkell. Thirkell was named the 2015 Colorado Teacher of the Year by the commissioner of education at an assembly held at Thirkell’s school on Oct. 13, 2014. Thirkell has taught mathematics at Lewis-Palmer High School (Lewis-Palmer School District 38) for 34 years, and strives to shape the students in her classroom into informed thinkers, strong problem-solvers, dedicated and determined lifelong learners and more confident and competent mathematicians. For more, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeawards/trtoyinf

Charter School Appeals

In the charter school appeal regarding TriCity Academy and Delta Schools, Inc. v. Sheridan School District No. 2, the board voted that the decision of the local board was contrary to the best interest of the pupils, school district, or community and moved to remand the matter to Sheridan School District No. 2 for reconsideration. 

In the charter school appeal regarding TriCity Academy and Delta Schools Inc. v. Englewood Schools, the board voted that the decision of the local board was contrary to the best interest of the pupils, school district, or community and moved to remand the matter to Englewood Schools for reconsideration. 

Other Action

The board approved the notice of rulemaking hearing for the rules for the administration of Exceptional Children’s Educational Act. 

The board approved the notice of rulemaking hearing for the rules for the minimum standards governing school transportation vehicles. 

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