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News Release - State Releases School, District Performance Ratings

Dec. 7, 2011

News Release

State releases school, district performance ratings at recent meeting
Board hears updates on budget, NCLB waivers

The Colorado State Board of Education met this week for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Highlights from the meeting include:

District Accreditation Ratings and School Plan Assignments

CDE released the annual District Performance Frameworks reports which determine the district’s accreditation rating. Schools also receive a School Performance Framework report which determines their school plan type.

Districts receive one of the following accreditation ratings, from highest- to lowest-performing:

  1. Accredited with Distinction: The district meets or exceeds statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Performance Plan.
  2. Accredited: The district approaches or meets statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Performance Plan.
  3. Accredited with Improvement Plan: The district approaches statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement an Improvement Plan.
  4. Accredited with Priority Improvement Plan: The district does not meet statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Priority Improvement Plan.
  5. Accredited with Turnaround Plan: The district does not meet statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Turnaround Plan.

In all, 112 of the state’s school districts (61.5 percent in all) were rated as “Accredited with Distinction” or “Accredited.” Eighteen districts were given the higher rating, “Accredited with Distinction,” and 94 were rated as “Accredited.”

The 18 districts accredited with distinction are: Academy School District 20, Agate School District 300, Aspen School District 1, Buffalo School District RE-4, Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Dolores School District RE-4A, Frenchman School District RE-3, Hinsdale County School District RE-1, Kiowa County School District C-2, Lewis-Palmer School District 38, Littleton Public Schools 6, Moffat School District 2, North Park School District R-1, Ouray School District R-1, Plateau School District RE-5, Ridgway School District R-2, Steamboat Springs School District RE-2 and Telluride School District R-1.

School Plan Type Assignments

Schools receive one of the following plan type assignments, from highest- to lowest-performing:

  1. Performance Plan: The school meets or exceeds statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Performance Plan.
  2. Improvement Plan: The school approaches or meets statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement an Improvement Plan.
  3. Priority Improvement Plan: The school does not meet statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Priority Improvement Plan.
  4. Turnaround Plan: The school does not meet statewide attainment on the performance indicators and is required to adopt and implement a Turnaround Plan.

In all, 1,445 of the state’s public schools (87.8 percent in all) were assigned a “Performance Plan” or “Improvement Plan.” One hundred forty-seven public schools (8.9 percent) were assigned a “Priority Improvement Plan” and 55 were assigned a “Turnaround Plan” (3.3 percent). This is an increase in the percentage of schools on Performance Plans in 2010 and a decrease in the percentage of schools on Turnaround Plans from 2010.

Districts are required to accredit their own schools, in some cases using a performance framework that may be similar to the state methodology. For a complete list of district accreditation ratings and school plan types, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/Accountability/PerformanceFrameworks.asp

Budget Update

The Colorado Department of Education will go before the Joint Budget Committee next week to respond to the 48 questions the department has been asked to address in topics ranging from the department’s strategic plan, assessment program, educator effectiveness system and Building Excellent Schools Today program, among others. State Board of Education Vice Chairman Marcia Neal and Board Member Elaine Gantz Berman will be on hand to represent the State Board. The hearing will take place on Friday, Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Capitol.

Assessment Update

Staff updated the board on the state’s request for funds to build the new state assessment system and provided options and different cost levels for consideration. The Department submitted a request to the Office of State Planning and Budget for $25.9 million to finance all components of the new assessment system. That request was not included in the governor’s proposed budget. Members of the Joint Budget Committee requested the Department develop options for further consideration. Those options were presented to the Board and included:

Option 1: Fund the entire system at a cost of $25.9 million

Option 2: Postpone the interim, create summative assessments only at a cost of $13.5 million

Option 3: Postpone the interim and Spanish reading and writing assessments, complete all other summative assessments for a cost of $12.5 million

Option 4: Postpone the interim, Spanish reading and writing exams, phase in writing and social studies, develop other summative exams for a cost of $10.1 million

Option 5: Develop science only and postpone all other content areas for a cost of $4.9 million

Option 6: Postpone all components of the new assessment system

The costs presented are estimates only. The actual costs will not be known until the request for proposal is released and vendors submit bids.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Process Update

Colorado was among the first 11 states to submit a request for a waiver to the No Child Left Behind law, also referred to as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The U.S. Department of Education is now considering that request. Peer reviewers began looking at Colorado’s application last week. The U.S. Department of Education will make a final decision on Colorado’s waiver application by January. For more, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/FedPrograms/ConsApp/eseawaiver.asp.

On Monday, Dec. 12 the Colorado Department of Education will hold an awards ceremony to highlight 2011 district and school performance results at 10 a.m. in the agency’s lobby at 201 E. Colfax Ave., Denver.

Race to the Top Phase 3 Grant

Staff shared a letter with the board that was sent out to district superintendents on Monday, Dec. 5 regarding Colorado’s intent to apply for a Race to the Top Phase 3 grant of $17.9 million. As with prior rounds of Race to the Top, half of the grant amount (approximately $8.9 million) will be disseminated to participating districts/local education agencies (LEAs) based on LEA Title 1 share.

The Race to the Top Phase 3 program is available to states that were finalists in the Phase 2 competition. CDE’s application focuses on several activities from the Phase 2 application related to: 1) the implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards and content collaboratives; 2) support for district implementation of the state’s educator effectiveness (S.B. 10-191); and 3) strategies for increasing access to STEM education across the state. The final application will be posted on the CDE website on Dec. 16 with the U.S. Department of Education announcing awards by Dec. 31.

Rulemaking Hearings

Online Programs. The State Board heard the proposed revisions to the Rules for the Administration, Certification and Oversight of Colorado Online Programs. Representatives from several online programs made comments in support of the proposed changes. The Board will vote on the revisions at its January meeting.

Capital Construction. The Board voted to repeal the Rules for the Administration of the School District Capital Construction Assistance Program and the Rules for the Administration of the Capital Construction Expenditures Reserve which had become obsolete.

Charter Schools. The department proposed draft rules for charter schools and authorizers at the October State Board Meeting and yesterday it discussed additional revisions. The Board will vote on the rules at its January meeting.

Charter School Appeals

The Board heard the second appeal of Imagine Pioneer Academy and ended up in a tied vote, the legal effect of which was to deny the appeal.

The Colorado State Board of Education will hold its next meeting Jan. 11-12 at the Colorado Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave., Denver.

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