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News Release - Report on State's Lowest Performing Schools

Feb. 14, 2013

News Release

Report sheds light on turning around the state’s lowest performing schools

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting Feb. 13. Highlights from the meeting include:

Turnarounds in Colorado Report

Representatives from several groups, including CDE, commissioned a study about the challenges and opportunities of turnaround work in Colorado schools and districts. The report set out to describe and analyze turnaround work from across the country; the policy context of turnarounds in Colorado; the reality of turnaround ratings in Colorado; and decision points and next steps in this work. Authors Kelly Hupfeld and Paul Teske from the University of Colorado Denver presented the report to the state board. Nine recommendations emerged. The presentation focused on the unique and urgent role the state board will play in addressing turnaround schools and districts. The board’s leadership and hard decisions will be instrumental in this work. View the report at http://bit.ly/WmN2dC.

Rulemaking Hearing

The state board held its second and final rulemaking hearing on the Reading to Ensure Academic Development or READ Act. Staff led the board through comments and changes in the rules. View the proposed changes at http://bit.ly/Y8Rx97. Public comment centered on the use of assessments to inform the identification of reading deficiencies and the inclusion of comparable Spanish versions of such assessments. The board will vote on the rules at its March meeting.

The board adopted rules for the administration of funding assistance to Boards of Cooperative Education Services in implementing and meeting state educational priorities.

The board also adopted rules to include the definition of charter school and expansion of the individual career and academic plans to include charter schools and basic skills placement or assessment records.

READ Act Diagnostic and Summative Assessments

The department presented two lists of recommended reading assessments; diagnostic reading assessments for grades K-3 and summative reading assessments for grades K-2. The board will vote on these recommendations at its March meeting. The department is required to make the lists of approved assessments available on the website on or before April 1. To view the presentation to the board, click here.

High School Graduation Guidelines

Staff presented an update on the work of the Graduation Guidelines Council to establish recommended high school graduation guidelines for state board review. State statute requires the state board to adopt a set of guidelines for high school graduation requirements by May. During the 2013-14 school year, districts must review and refine their high school graduation requirements to meet or exceed the graduation guidelines established by the state board. In fall of 2014, districts will begin implementing these graduation guidelines for 9th-graders for the first graduating class of 2018. The presentation on the work to date can be found here. Staff requested feedback on the initial concepts presented to the board. Staff will share the feedback with the Graduation Guidelines Council to inform their work and ultimate recommendations.

Average Daily Membership System

CDE provided a presentation on the potential impacts of moving to an average daily membership system and discussed opportunities for cost savings and efficiencies by the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) and small districts. The overview highlighted strengths and weaknesses of moving to the new system. To view the presentation, click here. To view the study, click here.

S.B. 10-191 Educator Effectiveness Pilot Update

Staff provided an update on the S.B. 10-191 educator effectiveness pilot. The state is in the second year of piloting the state model educator evaluation system with 27 participating districts. In addition to supporting the pilot districts, the state has provided training to 160 districts on various aspects of the state model system. Staff provided the board with updates on the principal and teacher evaluation systems and early data from the teacher pilot. In addition, staff informed the board of forthcoming recommendations from the State Council for Educator Effectiveness regarding the evaluation of other licensed personnel. For more on this and next steps, view the presentation at http://bit.ly/X9aHwi.

Colorado Teacher of the Year

Amanda Westenberg of Rangeview High School in Aurora Public Schools, was recognized by the board as 2013 Colorado Teacher of the Year. Westenberg has been in education for eight years and serves as the social studies department chair at Rangeview High School.

The Colorado State Board of Education will hold its next meeting in March at the Colorado Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave., in Denver.

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