The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has achieved all of the established initiatives and outcomes documented in the grant application by the end of the extended 2007 SLDS Grant award period. The grant provided the CDE the opportunity to purchase, develop and implement vital “infrastructure” building blocks that will be utilized for years to come. It also laid the ground work for the Strategic Objects and outcomes to be implemented as part of the 2009 SLDS ARRA grant.
The extension of the grant funding for a fourth year allowed the CDE to complete the work started in the later years of the grant and to mitigate the risk caused by delays in the procurement process for acquiring contractual support. The CDE is using the lessons learned during this grant to help them to avoid the same issues in the future.
There is no question that this SLDS grant was a key factor in the success of the CDE ability to expand and provide SLDS data from 2007 to 2011. Each of the grant initiatives and outcomes has moved the SLDS along in their own way. The flexibility provided by the funding has allowed the CDE to put in place a solid infrastructure for the SLDS data and reporting capabilities that is addressing the stakeholder’s needs. That being said, the work is never done as now the focus has become more directed toward the P-20 landscape.
The challenges and projects that will be required in order to make that change a reality will be able to take full advantage of the work completed during this grant that will only increase the likelihood of success. The CDE has developed an outstanding working relationship with the USDOE during this grant implementation process that has provided great benefit to the Colorado and other States. The partnership that was formed has been built on information and technology sharing that enabled Colorado to get more accomplished with less resources.
CDE looks forward to working with the USDOE on the 2009 SLDS ARRA grant to continue the good work and to achieve all the agreed upon outcomes that will improve and advance the Colorado SLDS. As this work progresses it will become Relevant Information to Strengthen Education (RISE).