Nov. 15, 2018
State Board maintains current accountability targets for schools and districts
Commissioner presents final district ratings
DENVER - The Colorado State Board of Education on Thursday voted unanimously to maintain the current targets for achievement, growth and postsecondary workforce readiness used to determine school and district ratings.
Required by law to set the targets by November each year, the board has not adjusted the performance indicator targets since they were set in 2016 following the change to the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests. However, the board indicated an interest in raising the targets in the future.
“When we first set the targets, we were very clear that they were just a starting point, but I know that these kinds of changes have impacts and we need time to discuss this with schools and districts,” said Board Chairwoman Angelika Schroeder.
CDE staff will be gathering feedback over the next few months from districts, parents and education advocacy groups on the potential impact of adjusting the targets.
In addition, during the first half of 2019 the board will consider weightings given to the achievement, growth and postsecondary workforce readiness performance indicators. Board rules specify that growth and postsecondary workforce readiness indicators - which include graduation rates, dropout rates, college entrance exams and college matriculation rates - must be weighed the most.
Considerations on weightings and targets will take place during the rulemaking process required to implement House Bill 18-1355.
The new statute also requires the reintroduction of a growth-to-standard metric to the ratings. The growth-to-standard measure assesses student progress toward meeting grade-level expectations. For students who already meet grade-level expectations, the growth-to-standard measure assesses progress toward higher levels of achievement.
Education commissioner assigns district ratings
Commissioner of Education Katy Anthes presented final district accountability ratings for the state's 178 districts and BOCES for the 2017-18 school year. The ratings are based on student achievement and growth on state assessments as well as postsecondary workforce readiness measures. Preliminary ratings were issued in August, but districts could submit additional evidence earlier this fall for reconsideration of their ratings.
In the final ratings, 25 districts received the highest rating of Distinction, 100 received the second-highest rating of Accredited, and 50 received an Improvement Plan rating. Only six districts received one of the lowest two ratings of Priority Improvement or Turnaround, representing just 3 percent of all districts.
The purpose of the Colorado accountability ratings is to identify struggling schools to provide support and successful schools to be recognized and serve as models.
Board approves BVSD charter school appeal
The state board approved an appeal by Ascent Classical Academy Flatirons charter school, which disagreed with a Sept. 25 ruling by the Boulder Valley School Board to not review the organization’s application for a school. The state board’s decision remands the matter back to the local school board for reconsideration.
The board voted to approve the following:
Technical changes to the Rules for Administration of the School Transformation Grant Program. Schools and districts in Priority Improvement or Turnaround in the immediate or preceding school year can apply for grant funds to support educator professional development, implement activities geared towards instructional transformation, or choose one of the statutory options for schools and districts with persistent low performance.
Rules for Administration of the Retaining Teachers Grant Program. This new grant program is meant to help local education providers retain educators through initiatives such as childcare services, peer mentorship programs and incentives for highly effective teachers.
Notices of rulemaking
The board approved notices of rulemaking for the following items. The rulemaking hearings will be held at the board’s January 2019 meeting.
Rules for the Administration of the School Counselor Corps Grant. Updates to these rules include technical changes as well an updated definition of “school counselor” to include interns who are hired using grant funds.
Rules for the Administration of School Health Professional Grant. Changes to these rules are meant to clarify the term of the grant and to update the definition of a “School Health Professional” in order for a state-licensed professional or educator to be hired using grant funds.