April 9, 2015
Board delays action on Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, testing waivers, cut scores for high school CMAS science and social studies tests
Colorado U.S. Senate Youth Students and Milken Educator recognized
The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on April 8 & 9. Highlights from the meeting include:
Healthy Kids Survey
The board continued its consideration of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. The survey collects anonymous information from students in sixth to 12th grade about health‐related attitudes and behaviors. The Attorney General issued a formal opinion which said schools are not required to obtain written parental consent before students take part in the survey because the survey is optional. After much discussion and public testimony, the board voted to table action on the survey until its May meeting.
At its March meeting, the board voted 4-3 to reject the proposed cut scores needed to set proficiency levels on the high school Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) science and social studies tests given last fall. The board reconsidered the action at its April meeting and voted to delay action until its May meeting. Board members indicated the legislature is considering proposals on the assessment issue and they want to give time for that process to be completed as it may impact the board’s decisions.
Pursuant to 22-7-1006 (1.5), C.R.S., the board established a sub-committee to conduct a fiscal and student achievement benefit analysis of Colorado remaining a governing board member of PARCC.
State Test Waiver Requests
At its Jan. 8 meeting, the board voted 4-3 to pass a motion directing the commissioner of education to grant waivers to local school boards and districts to the performance-based component of the CMAS assessment, if requested by the district. In light of the board’s action, the commissioner requested a formal opinion from the Attorney General’s Office which was shared at the board’s February meeting. The opinion stated that the board did not have the authority to direct the commissioner of education to grant the waiver requests.
In March, the board voted to allow continued submissions of waivers by districts and to table any decision on those waivers. At its April meeting, the board voted again to table any decision on those waivers until its May meeting.
Amendments to the Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children's Educational Act
The board voted to approve the proposed amendments to the Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act.
Outstanding Students and Educators
The board recognized Serene Singh, a senior at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs and Brandon Lee, a senior at Thunder Ridge High School in Highlands Ranch, as the Colorado delegates to the 53rd annual U.S. Senate Youth Program. Each year this competitive merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students to Washington, D.C. for a week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundation provides each student delegate with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.
Carrie Harper, a third-grade teacher from Sunnyside Elementary in Durango was also congratulated as the 2014-2015 Colorado Milken Educator. At a surprise assembly at her school on Feb. 4, 2015, Harper was named the 2014-2015 Colorado Milken Educator and will receive $25,000 from the Milken Family Foundation in recognition of her exceptional work as a model teacher for the state and nation.
The board has been hearing directly from districts with an accreditation rating of Turnaround or Priority Improvement or districts with multiple schools with Turnaround or Priority Improvement plan types. During the presentations, the board learns how the schools and districts are addressing low performance and how they are progressing along the accountability clock.
At the April board meeting, Aurora Public Schools, Greeley 6 School District, Pueblo City 60 School District and Denver Public Schools shared their progress and improvement efforts.
Rulemaking Hearing on READ Act Implementation
The board conducted a rulemaking hearing on the Revisions to Rules for the Administration of the READ Act. Those rules will be considered for action at the board’s May meeting.