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Accountability Clock

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Results from CDE’s 2018 School Redesign Request for Information (RFI) 

In early 2018, CDE invited partners to join the state’s effort to transform low-performing schools and ensure that all students – regardless of where they live – have access to schools that prepare them for college and career. CDE requested information from providers willing and able to engage deeply with schools and districts across the state as partners of various scope and design. The following three types of partner organizations were encouraged to respond to the request for information (RFI):

  • Charter Networks, Charter Management Organizations and/or Individual Charter Schools that have a track record of success and are interested in operating additional schools in Colorado.
  • Turnaround Leadership Providers that operate leadership development programs specifically targeted for schools and districts in need of support.
  • Management partners or non-profit networks that have a track record of success and can engage with districts and schools in one or more of the 4 Domains for Rapid Improvement.

Please see the CDE Advisory List of Providers for the results of the school redesign RFI.


About the Accountability Clock

Colorado’s accountability system, created under the Education Accountability Act of 2009, is based upon the premise that schools and districts that meet state expectations for student academic performance should hold increased autonomy, whereas those not meeting state expectations will receive increased support and monitoring. Schools and districts not meeting expectations in achievement, growth and postsecondary workforce readiness, as determined by the School and District Performance Frameworks, are assigned a plan type of Priority Improvement or Turnaround. Per state law, schools and districts cannot retain one of those plan types for five consecutive years before significant action must be taken. This statutory timeline is referred to as the Accountability Clock.

View the Accountability Clock Fact Sheet (PDF)

Priority Improvement & Turnaround Supplement

For more detailed information on the accountability requirements for Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools and districts, please see the Priority Improvement and Turnaround Supplement to the CDE District Accountability Handbook.

View the Priority Improvement & Turnaround Supplement (PDF) (updated August 2018)

House Bill 18-1355

House Bill 18-1355 makes several modifications to Colorado’s accountability law, in particular to the Accountability Clock. The majority of these changes go into effect with the 2019 Performance Frameworks. For a summary of key changes, please see the HB 18-1355 Fact Sheet.

View the House Bill 18-1355 Fact Sheet (PDF)

End-of-Clock Recommendation Process

If a school or district receives a plan type of Priority Improvement or Turnaround for five consecutive years, then the State Board of Education must direct an action to the local board of education. The State Board has discretion to take action prior to the end of the Accountability Clock for schools and districts with Turnaround plans.

Schools and districts on the Accountability Clock for any period of time should be implementing research-based strategies of appropriate scope and intensity to improve student outcomes. After five consecutive years, the local board will be directed by the State Board of Education as to which strategy, or pathway, to pursue. This may include school closure, converting schools to a charter school, working with an external management partner, seeking innovation status for a school or group of schools, or district reorganization. In considering appropriate actions, the State Board will refer to a recommendation from the State Review Panel and a report from the Commissioner of Education. School districts may also provide a proposal for their preferred pathway to the State Board.

Accountability Pathways Resources

When a school or district reaches the end of the accountability clock, CDE staff will work with the district to select a pathway that is best suited to create dramatic change. We are continuing to develop resources to support this process. Below are guidance documents for each pathway, as well as rubrics for school districts submitting innovation or management plans on behalf of a school, set of schools, or the district. The rubrics are intended to guide planning for Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools and districts pursuing the innovation or management pathways. The rubrics will also be used by CDE staff to inform the Commissioner’s report and assess whether the plan, if implemented, will have significant, rapid and positive impact on student learning.

Accountability Pathways Grant

The Accountability Pathways Planning grant is intended to support Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) and schools nearing the end of the Accountability Clock to explore pathway options, take thoughtful action, and increase readiness for discussions with the State Board of Education. The Accountability Pathways Planning grant is now part of the ESSA Application for School Improvement (EASI).

Accountability Pathways Grant Fact Sheet

Accountability Pathways Grant Fact Sheet (PDF)

ESSA Application for School Improvement (EASI)

2016 Participants:

  • South Conejos School District
  • Denver Public Schools
  • Sheridan School District 2
  • Mapleton School District

  • Lake County School District R-1
  • Pueblo City Schools District 60
  • Huerfano School District RE-1
  • Greeley-Evans School District 6

  • Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1
  • Westminster Public Schools
  • Adams County School District 14

State Board Accountability Actions

Fall 2018: Hearings for Adams 14/Adams City High School; Heroes Middle School and Risley International Academy of Innovation in Pueblo City Schools (Entering Year 8)

Adams 14 School District and Adams City High School

Heroes Middle School and Risley International Academy of Innovation (Pueblo City Schools)

Spring 2018: Hearings for Schools Entering Year 6

Martinez Elementary School (Greeley 6 School District)

Manaugh Elementary School (Montezuma-Cortez School District RE 1)

Please see State Board Accountability Actions for previous years

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