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News Release -- Colorado State Board of Education to discuss academic standards and PARCC assessments in October

Sept. 15, 2016

Colorado State Board of Education to discuss academic standards and PARCC assessments in October

The Colorado State Board of Education met in Denver on Sept. 14 and 15 for its regularly scheduled meeting.  Here are highlights from the meetings

DENVER – The Colorado State Board of Education on Wednesday decided to begin exploring whether Colorado should continue using the current Colorado Academic Standards and aligned PARCC assessment system. 

In 2008, the legislature adopted Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP 4 Kids), an act that called for the adoption of updated standards aimed at ensuring all students are prepared to succeed in college.  The resulting Colorado Academic Standards in English language arts and mathematics were adopted by the state board in 2009 and 2010 and fully implemented by school districts in 2013-14.  Per state law, the standards must be reviewed by the state board on or before July 2018.

The CAP 4 Kids law also requires Colorado to measure students’ mastery of the standards through aligned assessments.   These assessments are known as the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, which include science and social studies tests developed in Colorado in addition to the math and English language arts assessments developed with PARCC, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.  Six states and the District of Columbia participate in PARCC. In Colorado, approximately 400,000 Colorado students in grades three through nine took PARCC tests in last spring.

The state’s current agreements with PARCC end in June 2017, and its related contract with testing administrator Pearson expires in September 2017. New alternatives to the PARCC assessments would need to be in place by this spring to be ready for the 2017-18 school year, said Joyce Zurkowski, state assessment director.

Ban lifted on diet sodas in high schools

Also on Wednesday, the board approved a realignment of Colorado’s Healthy Beverages Policy with federal rules, a move that gave local school districts more control over what types of beverages can be sold at high schools. See the press release here.

Board approves process to review data requests for researchers

The board approved a process to carefully consider and review all requests from researchers for student data, other than aggregate student information already publicly available.  The process was designed to ensure that the department adheres to the highest level of privacy protection for student data.

Board OKs innovation zone requests for Pueblo 60 and Burlington RE-CJ

Pueblo 60 and Burlington RE-CJ received approval to set up innovation zones in their districts. Pueblo sought the zone for six schools and Burlington sought the zone for all of its schools. The zones allow waivers from certain state statutes and rules specified in an innovation plan.

Waivers approved for Lewis-Palmer 38 and Wray school districts

Lewis-Palmer 38 School District and Wray School District were allowed waivers from school readiness assessments for kindergartners.

Additionally, the board took the following actions on rules: