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New Release - State Board of Education considers adjustments to School Performance Frameworks

Aug. 15, 2019

State Board of Education considers adjustments to School Performance Frameworks

Board recognizes student artwork from around Colorado

DENVER – The State Board of Education at its monthly two-day meeting continued its discussion about potential changes to the School Performance Frameworks - the annual rating system produced by the Colorado Department of Education for every public school in the state. 

Potential changes include shifting the cut point between the Improvement and Performance categories and the possibility of adding a new Distinction category to identify the highest performing schools. The board has been discussing the rigor of the School Performance Frameworks since fall 2018 and getting feedback from districts and stakeholders on potential changes.

Current cut points between ratings of Performance, Improvement, Priority Improvement and Turnaround were set in 2016. Information about the proposals being considered by the board is available on the website. The board will continue its discussions over the coming months.  The earliest any changes would be applied to the frameworks would be 2020. 

Education accountability rules approved
The board approved updates to the Rules for the Administration of Statewide Accountability Measures to align with recent legislation. Among the changes to the rules, the board added language declaring an intent to keep accountability targets the same for at least three years before revising them. 

Student art competition 
The board recognized the following student artists for their accomplishments in the Colorado Congressional Art Competition:

  • Gavin Brown, South High School, Denver Public Schools, Congressional District 1

  • Alyssa Sheehan,  Dakota Ridge High School, Jefferson County Public Schools, Congressional District 2

  • Aleah Mazurek, Alamosa High School, Alamosa School District, Congressional District 3

  • Elisabeth Paye, Windsor High School, Windsor Re-4 School District, Congressional District 4

  • Connor Nelson, The Vanguard School, Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Congressional District 5

  • Neena Saragih, Heritage High School, Littleton Public Schools, Congressional District 6

  • Katrina Karo, foreign exchange student from Estonia at Golden High School, Jefferson County Public Schools, Congressional District 7

The student artwork will be displayed in the State Board Room through June 2020.

2019 state assessment scores and growth results released
Overall state-, district- and school-level achievement results from the 2019 administration of statewide assessments were released along with academic growth summary information, showing areas of improvement throughout the state and steady participation. View the news release for a summary of results.

CDE budget requests for 2020-21
The board authorized the Colorado Department of Education to submit three budget requests for the 2020-21 fiscal year to the legislature for consideration during the 2020 session.  The requests include:

  • Infrastructure needs such as human resources, purchasing, communications and  technology updates to support the expanded activities of the department;

  • Dedicated funding for a more focused review and evaluation of Educator Preparation Programs; and

  • Support for reviewing name-based criminal history background checks for educator license applicants

Charter school appeal denied
The board upheld a decision by the Douglas County School District Board of Education to deny a charter school appeal from John Dewey Institute. The state board cited concerns with the school’s proposed budget and lack of explanation for how it would create curriculum for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder while also teaching students without ASD in the same classrooms. The board also noted that the district should have followed statutory requirements to address the charter application through an official resolution. 

Kindergarten school readiness waiver renewal
The board renewed a kindergarten school readiness waiver request from Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12. The waiver was initially approved in March 2016. The waiver is for a state law that requires school districts to administer a state board approved school readiness assessment within the first 60 days of the school year to each kindergartener. At the board's request and in order to re-evaluate the waiver renewal, the school district presented its progress to the board, including summary data for kindergarten school readiness, the READ Act and state test results for English language arts.

Emergency rules approved for new postsecondary readiness grant programs
The board approved funding for a new Ninth Grade Student Success Program that aims to assist school districts and charter schools in dropout prevention efforts. The board also approved emergency rules for the Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant. The goal of the grant is to help school districts and institutions of higher education build partnerships for students to earn postsecondary credit during high school.

The board approved emergency rules for these two new grant programs to ensure school districts receive funding for the upcoming school year. Rules for both programs are anticipated to be voted on at the board’s October meeting.

Upcoming rulemaking hearings 
The board reviewed anticipated updates to the rules for the Early Literacy Grant (ELG) program resulting from 2019 changes to the Colorado READ Act. Updates to the ELG program would include increased funding by $2.5 million, additional reporting requirements and evidence-based training for K-3 teachers.

In addition, the board reviewed recommended rules for the new computer science grant, which provides funds to schools and districts to promote enrollment in computer science courses and programs.

The board anticipates holding hearings and voting on rules for both of these grant programs at its September meeting.

Changes to the Charter School Appeal Procedures
The board considered changes to the Charter School Appeals Procedures in place since 2008. The changes simplify the charter school appeals process and seek to reduce the burdens on the school, authorizer, and the board.

The revisions included creating a single policy for charter appeals covering all relevant state statutes and setting a new hearing format allotting uninterrupted time for both parties involved. Other changes include e-filing of appellate documents and placing page limits on notices of appeals and opening and reply briefs. The board will vote on the changes during its September meeting.  See the full list of proposed revisions

Aurora Public Schools and HOPE Online 
The board voted to not rule on Aurora Public School's declaratory relief request regarding HOPE Online's recent request for a memorandum of understanding with the district to operate a learning center within the district. In April 2019, the district decided not to approve HOPE Online's learning center renewal requests based on concerns related to student academic performance. HOPE Online appealed the district's decision to the state board in June. The board did not have a majority vote in support for the appeal, so the district's decision was upheld. 

In other actions, the board:

  • Approved 2019 State Share Payments, or monthly funding received by school districts from the state, totaling $384,570,319.64  for July through November. As outlined in state law, the state share payment estimates are calculated by using the state funding formula, projected student membership numbers and assessed valuations.
  • Appointed Brett Ridgway, chief business officer and assistant treasurer from School District 49, as the administrator member on the Capital Construction Assistance Board for the Building Excellent School Today (BEST) program.
  • Approved a notice of rulemaking for the Accelerated College Opportunity Exam Fee Grant. The grant program helps districts and high schools cover the cost of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams for low-income students. The rulemaking hearing is anticipated to be held at the October board meeting.
  • Approved the addition of the North Carolina Kindergarten Entry Assessment to Colorado's approved list of kindergarten school readiness assessment list.