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News Release - State Board Meeting Highlights, 4/11/13

April 11, 2013

News Release

State Board holds study session on graduation guidelines

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting April 10 & 11. Highlights from the meeting include:

High School Graduation Guidelines

State statute requires the state board to adopt a set of guidelines for high school graduation guidelines by May 2013. Staff provided the board with background and an update on the Colorado process for developing draft high school graduation guidelines. The discussion included reviewing the purpose, beliefs, and local board and state board responsibilities outlined in the proposed draft guidelines developed by the state’s Graduation Guidelines Council. Click here for the proposed draft guidelines. To view the PowerPoint presentation, click here. Feedback from the board’s discussion and additional constituent meetings will inform the Graduation Guidelines Council’s final recommendations to the board which will be shared in May for board action. By statute, districts will implement their locally-developed graduation guidelines which meet or exceed the state’s guidelines in 2014 for 9th-graders for the first graduating class of 2018.

Educator Effectiveness

Katy Anthes, executive director of educator effectiveness at CDE provided a brief update on the State Council on Educator Effectiveness’ preliminary draft recommendations on the performance evaluations of “other licensed personnel” (or “specialized service professionals”). The State Council, per statute and rule, is required to provide the state board with recommendations on the system for all licensed personnel. The “other licensed personnel/specialized service professionals” category in the S.B. 10-191 rules has been “reserved” while the state council has been developing recommendations. The state board and the department will use the recommendations to assist in drafting appropriate rules to guide the evaluation of specialized service providers. Final recommendations will be presented to the board by members of the State Council on Educator Effectiveness at the May state board meeting.

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

Staff provided the board with updated information about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment consortium. Statute requires Colorado to participate as a governing board member in a consortium of states that

focuses on the readiness of students for college and careers. The PARCC assessments will be in English language arts in grades 3-11 and mathematics in grades 3-8 and three times in high school will be operational in spring of 2015. Staff shared information regarding test design features, item types, test development processes, testing time and technology expectations. To view the presentation, click here. For an outline of Colorado’s participation, click here.

School Finance, Figure Setting & Budget

Assistant Commissioner of School Finance Leanne Emm provided an update to the board regarding both S.B. 13-213, the “new” School Finance Act being proposed by Senator Mike Johnston and S.B. 13-260, the School Finance Act that would apply to funding for schools for 2013-14. During the update Emm provided information regarding the senate amendments that were applied to S.B. 13-213. This bill will be heard in the House Education Committee on Monday, April 15 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at 1:30 p.m. Senate Bill 13-260 includes various provisions for funding, however the targeted number to overall school funding for 2013-14 is unknown at this time.

On March 14 and 15, the Joint Budget Committee heard and voted on CDE’s budget during the Department’s Figure Setting Hearing. Although total program will not be finalized until the School Finance bill is finished, the rest of the Department’s budget was approved. On top of the four decision items CDE submitted, the JBC added $2 million for a grant to libraries program that has not been funded for the last 10 years.

Charter School Report

Staff presented the latest charter school report. Every three years, CDE is charged with preparing a report and evaluation for the governor and the house and senate committees on education on the success or failure of charter schools and of institute charter schools, their relationship to other school reform efforts, and suggested changes in state law necessary to strengthen or change the charter school program. Click these links to view the PowerPoint, cover memo and report.

Dropout Prevention and Student Engagement Report

Staff walked board members through the 2011-2012 Dropout Prevention and Student Engagement Report. The report covers state policy findings and recommendations to reduce the student dropout rate and increase student graduation and completion rates. Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.

Outstanding Students and Educators

The state board recognized the two students selected as delegates to the 51st Annual United States Senate Youth Program. Selection for the U.S. Senate Youth Program is based on the student’s outstanding abilities and demonstrated qualities of leadership in an elected or appointed high school student office, in addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work. Connie Hammond attends Colorado Springs Christian High School and serves as Class Council representative, as well as senator in Student Cabinet. Sean Richard Weller is a senior at Air Academy High School on the United States Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs. He is currently chair of the statewide Colorado Youth Advisory Council, as well as student body president at his school. To read more, visit

The board also recognized two Title I Distinguished Schools. Each year, the Federal Programs Unit at CDE recognizes two Title I schools that have shown either exceptional student performance or success in closing the achievement gap as measured by the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP). In order to be eligible, schools must have a minority population of at least 30 percent, a free and reduced lunch population of at least 40 percent, student enrollment of at least 200, and a “performance” accreditation rating. Each of the distinguished schools received $10,000 to continue their academic efforts and were publicly recognized at the National Title I Conference in Nashville, TN in January.

The Colorado Title I Distinguished School for Exceptional Student Performance is Wiggins Elementary School in Wiggins School District. Montview Elementary School in Aurora Public Schools is the Colorado Title I Distinguished School for Closing the Achievement Gap. For more information, visit

The board recognized 14 Highly Effective School Libraries. The Highly Effective School Library Program provides lifelong learning opportunities while supporting all schools as they strive to improve student achievement and prepare students for 21st century success. The Highly Effective School Library Program also recognizes outstanding school librarians and library programs. To view the list of libraries, and for more information, visit

Other Action

The board approved Adams County School District 50’s request to become a district of innovation and its request on behalf of STEM Academy School to become a school of innovation.

The board adopted a resolution in support of designating April 22, 2013 as Colorado Digital Citizenship Day. To view the resolution, click here.

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


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