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Welcome to Colorado’s conversation about the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

By Richard Crandall, Commissioner of Education
Monday, February 8, 2016 - 9:10am

For 14 years, we’ve lived under the No Child Left Behind Act.  With ESSA, states and local school districts have a greater ability to make decisions on the best use of funds, and more discretion over aspects of school and district accountability.

There is a lot of work to be done!  Because the new law changes many federal mandates, the state, in partnership with local education leaders, will play a decisive role in shaping assessment, accountability and support for struggling schools in the future.  We will need your help in carefully crafting these new systems. So, this blog will provide educators, district leaders, advocates and policy makers with information, resources and progress reports about the implementation of ESSA in Colorado.  We hope you will engage with us with thoughtful ideas, comments, opinions and constructive feedback.

We’ll categorize each of the posts so you can choose to view information about specific areas of the federal law– or the whole thing!  Be sure to “subscribe” to the areas you’d like to follow.

 We believe Colorado is well positioned to take advantage of the new flexibility provided by ESSA.    Together, we’ll shape new opportunities to ensure that all students in Colorado are prepared for success in college and careers.


I believe every student is capable of success! I work with English Language Learners and know that when I have the family (parents, grandparents etc) involved or at least informed, their children are more focused on their learning. I have seen my students improve in their excitement and engagement in school and educational activities when their folks know what the school and school district are doing.

The communication from ED surrounding the coming guidance is released indicating the NRMC (Negotiated Rulemaking Committee) are being formed -will we see Colorado follow a similar format for Public/LEA comment and input? It may be early for this type of communication without the Guidance from ED, but there is enough information to start discussions/clarifications on at least the two major regulatory items presented and to be addressed in developing guidance. 1. Updating existing assessment regulations to reflect changes in section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA. 2. Preparing proposed regulations related to the requirement under section 1118 (b) of ESEA Part A funds used to supplement and not supplant, Non-federal funds. Consolidation of funds at the school level highlights some of the challenges for this monitoring. Reference CFR 34 Chapter II for detail on both items.

CDE is currently vetting the new law to identify areas that may require changes to Colorado legislation, rules, and policy. The USDE has yet to release information regarding the requirements associated with the state plans that are to be submitted later this calendar year. However, CDE and our State Board will rely heavily on the expertise of Colorado’s school districts, professional organizations, and advocacy groups in developing our state plan and will provide multiple avenues for stakeholder input to help ensure that all voices are heard and reflected in our state ESSA plan.

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