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News Release - Education officials to embark on statewide Every Student Succeeds Act listening tour to gather feedback

April 5, 2016

Education officials to embark on statewide Every Student Succeeds Act listening tour to gather feedback

In May Colorado Department of Education staff and other education officials will launch a statewide tour to gather the public’s input and feedback on how Colorado should implement vital components of the nation’s new federal education law – the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The seven-city listening tour will include meetings in Pueblo, Grand Junction, Durango, Greeley, Buena Vista, Limon and Thornton. Expected audiences will include school leaders, educators, administrators, families and community members. Events will incorporate small-group discussions with the goal of generating ideas, recommendations and feedback about everything from state educational standards to how parents and community members can become engaged in their schools.

“These listening tour events give a chance for Colorado residents to be heard and become directly involved with shaping the state’s education system and the future of our children,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Rich Crandall.

Congress last year passed the new federal education law with broad bipartisan support, striking down the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act and diminishing the federal government’s heavy involvement in public education.  The new law requires Colorado, and all other states seeking ESSA funds, to come up with its own implementation plan.  To develop the state’s new plan, education leaders are embarking on these first steps in a year-long process to engage the public in a high-level conversation about standards, assessments, accountability, teacher quality, parent and community engagement, and supports for students.  Feedback will also be collected about how Colorado can become one of seven states in a pilot program to develop more instructionally connected approaches to state assessments. 

These first listening tour sessions planned for this spring will attempt to reach a broad array of education stakeholders including, school district and BOCES administrators, teachers, parents, members of the business community and the community at large.

Teams will present a general overview of ESSA and then facilitate a community discussion. At most locations, two sessions will be held, one in the early afternoon and another after work for parents, teachers and community members. Feedback from the ESSA listening events will be compiled and used by ESSA working group committees to inform the state’s plan. The goal is to develop a Colorado ESSA plan that is clearly understood and can be supported by all. Ultimately, a plan approved by the Colorado State Board of Education will be presented to the U.S. Department of Education.

ESSA Listening Tour schedule:

  • 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 4, at El Pueblo History Museum, 301 N. Union Ave., Pueblo.
  • 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 4, Grand Junction Central Library Community Rooms, 443 N. Sixth St., Grand Junction.
  • 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at Durango School District Board Room, 201 E. 12th St., Durango.
  • 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 16, at UNC Greeley, University Center, 2045 10th Ave., Greeley.
  • 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, Best Western Vista Inn, 733 U.S. Highway 24 N., Buena Vista.
  • 9 a.m.-noon, Friday, May 20, East Central BOCES, 820 Second St., Limon 
  • 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 23, at Adams 12 Facility Operations Conference Center, 1500 E. 128th Ave., Thornton.

To register for the sessions or for more information about ESSA or the ESSA Listening Tour, visit

Additional sessions, meetings, webinars and feedback mechanisms on the ESSA development plan will be available throughout the year.

For more information or to contribute to the conversation, visit the blog created by CDE focused on ESSA implementation: