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State Review Panel


With the passage of Colorado Educational Accountability Act (SB 09‐163), the state has embarked upon a comprehensive process to ensure an aligned and balanced accountability system. The underpinning philosophy of the accountability system is that schools and districts that meet basic state expectations hold increased autonomy; whereas, schools and districts not meeting those expectations will be eligible for increased support, as well as increased monitoring. To support a system of checks and balances, SB 09‐163 created the State Review Panel.

State Review Panel Responsibilities

When considering schools and districts with Priority Improvement and Turnaround plan types, the State Review Panel is tasked with:

  • Providing a critical evaluation of the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP), including capacity of school/district to engage in dramatic change. The Panel “shall” review Turnaround plans and “may” review Priority Improvement plans.
  • Providing recommendations to the Commissioner and State Board of Education on potential actions when a school or district remains on the accountability clock for more than five consecutive years or earlier upon request.

As detailed in the Protocol (see Resources), State Review Panelists address the following criteria:

  1. Whether leadership is adequate to implement change to improve results.
  2. Whether the infrastructure is adequate to support school improvement.
  3. The readiness and apparent capacity of personnel to plan effectively and lead the implementation of appropriate actions to improve student academic performance within the school or district.
  4. The readiness and apparent capacity of personnel to engage productively with and benefit from the assistance provided by an external partner.
  5. The likelihood of positive returns on state investments of assistance and support to improve the performance within the current management structure and staffing.
  6. The necessity that the public school/district remain in operation to serve students.

Review Structure and Recommendation

The State Review Panel evaluates schools and districts through two types of reviews:

  1. Document Review (paper-based evaluation)
  2. Site Visit (document review plus interviews and classroom observation.

Based on the information gleaned through the evaluation process, Panelists make final recommendations to the Commissioner and State Board of Education.

State Review Panelists

State Review Panelists are annually appointed by CDE’s Commissioner, with the approval of the State Board of Education.  State Review Panelists must have expertise in one or more of the following fields:

  • School district or school leadership or governance
  • Standards-based elementary or secondary curriculum instruction and assessment
  • Instructional data management and analysis
  • School district, school, or program evaluation
  • Educational program management
  • Teacher leadership
  • Organizational management or school district and public governance
  • School district or school budgeting and finance
  • Any other field that the commissioner deems to be relevant to the review and evaluation of school district, institute, or public school performance or improvement planning.

2017-18 State Review Panelists

2016-17 State Review Panelists

2015-16 State Review Panelists


CDE contracts with SchoolWorks to recruit, hire and coordinate the State Review Panel.  SchoolWorks Project Managers for Colorado’s State Review Panel: Paige Gonzalez and Megan Tupa

For specific questions regarding the State Review Panel, please contact Beth Friedman at  


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