U.S. Secretary of Education King visits Colorado
Monday, August 15, 2016
(Left to right): CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, U.S. Education Secretary John King, CDHS Director for Office of Early Childhood Mary Anne Snyder, CDHS Deputy Director for Communications and Legislative Affairs Alicia Caldwell, Colorado’s Interim Education Commissioner Katy Anthes.
Just as Colorado students were preparing to head back to school, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. visited Colorado on Aug. 1 to highlight the work being done by the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Human Services in early care and learning.
With interim Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes and CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha, Sec. King visited Edna Oliver Early Learning Center to meet with administrators, teachers and children before participating in a roundtable discussion with nearly 30 early education leaders.
“I’m thrilled to be here and celebrate the good work being done in Colorado,” King said.
Visiting primarily to learn how the state has implemented processes and programs under the 2012 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, Sec. King lauded the state’s effort to professionalize the early learning workforce.
“One of the promising things Colorado is doing is helping folks get the credit hours they need so they can see a path toward eventually having a bachelor’s degree and earning a little bit more,” King said.
CDE’s Professional Development Team, a part of the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness, focuses on providing more than 20,000 early learning professionals and administrators with the tools and resources necessary to provide Colorado students with a strong start. The team does this, in part, through the Professional Development Information System (PDIS), which is an early learning workforce registry and learning management system. The PDIS provides professionals with online courses and a state credentialing system.
“CDE’s Professional Development team for developing a set of competencies aligned with Colorado’s educator evaluation system that is focused on childhood educators,” said Commissioner Anthes. “The department also created a system of qualifications aligned with the state’s educator licensing and child care licensing requirements. All of these help professionalize the workforce and has created a better learning environment for the state’s young children.”
The roundtable discussion focused on the work done with Colorado Shines, the state’s quality and improvement ratings system. CDE is a proud partner with the CDHS in supporting Colorado Shines. CDE works to support Colorado school districts and community early learning programs in continuous improvement to support a strong start for all Colorado’s children. Colorado Shines provides parents and educators with a one-stop site to gauge quality in early childhood care and education.
“Colorado is clearly using their $45 million well,” said King before departing.
To learn more about the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness visit www.cde.state.co.us/early.
To learn more about Colorado Shines visit www.coloradoshines.com.