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News Release - State Board of Education directs Aurora Public Schools to continue plan for Aurora Central High School
Nov. 14, 2019
State Board of Education directs Aurora Public Schools to continue plan for Aurora Central High School
Ratings approved for the majority of schools and districts
The State Board of Education directed Aurora Public Schools to continue to implement its innovation plan for improving student outcomes at Aurora Central High School. Although the school has received low ratings in the accountability system for nine consecutive years, it has made recent gains in graduation rates and attendance rates while seeing a reduction in disciplinary incidents. Academic growth on state tests has improved but rates are still below the state average.
The board expressed concern with the low achievement scores for students at Aurora Central. If the school continues to receive a rating of either Turnaround or Priority Improvement on the state’s School Performance Framework in fall 2020, the district must return to the state board for another accountability hearing, during which the state board may consider changes to the current turnaround plan.
The board also strongly encouraged the district to add a partner to intensify the focus on academics to improve student achievement levels.
The board’s order aligns with the recommendations of the independent State Review Panel report. The current innovation plan was directed by the board in May 2017.
Performance ratings approved for schools and districts that did not request reconsideration
The board approved final performance ratings for 1,664 schools. The department released the final ratings for 167 districts for 2019. Ratings are assigned to schools and districts each year based on student achievement on state tests, student growth or progress on state tests from year to year, and postsecondary readiness of high school students, including graduation rates and college matriculation rates.
The board will approve final ratings for the remaining schools in December, including ratings for 133 schools that asked the department to reconsider the preliminary ratings they received in August. The commissioner will report on the final ratings for the remaining 18 districts that requested a reconsideration. Final framework reports for all schools and districts will be posted in December following the board’s approval of ratings for those schools and districts that requested reconsideration of their ratings.
2020 School and District Performance Targets
The board approved targets for achievement, growth and postsecondary workforce readiness that will be used to determine school and district ratings next year. State law requires the board to reaffirm or revise performance targets every year. This year, the board kept the expectations the same for existing measures and added expectations for the new on-track growth measure.
The new on-track growth measure and raised cut scores for elementary and middle schools were approved by the board last month. They will be provided for informational purposes in 2020 and will be used for points on the frameworks in 2021.
Community Leadership Academy’s appeal dismissed
The board dismissed Community Leadership Academy’s appeal related to a breach of contract notice they received from the Charter School Institute. In dismissing the case, the state board determined it does not have jurisdiction because the parties had not yet mediated the dispute according to requirements outlined in the Charter School Act.
- Approved the Rules for the Administration, Certification and Oversight of Colorado Online Programs. Updates were made to align the rules with recent changes in legislation, such as clarification of when a new certification application must be submitted to the state.
Approved the Rules for the Administration of Educator License Endorsements. Changes to the rules include elimination of the Trade and Industry endorsement for grades seven through 12 as well as new teacher mentor endorsement for K-12 educators.
Approved the Rules for the Administration of the John W. Buckner Automatic Enrollment in Advanced Courses Grant Program. The program is designed to increase enrollment of underrepresented students in advanced coursework by automatically enrolling those who show high academic potential. The grant provides $220,000 for the 2019-20 school year to support schools and districts in creating more advanced academic opportunities.
Held a rulemaking hearing for the Rules for the Administration of the School Health Professional Grant Program. The board will revisit the rules at its January 2020 meeting.
- Approved the Rules for the Administration of the High School Innovative Learning Pilot Program. The program provides support to help school districts and charters create plans to offer students opportunities for project- and work-based learning outside of the classroom. The first year will focus on small districts with fewer than 5,000 students in ninth through 12th grade.
Notices of rulemaking:
Approved the Notice of Rulemaking for the Rules for the Administration of the School Leadership Pilot Program, which will offer professional development for principals through mentorship opportunities.
In other actions, the board:
Denied a request to reopen the Rules for the Administration of Medications. The board was concerned that the requested change in language could create an impression that the state board gives authority to individual schools and employees to administer medications without local board input.
Approved recipients for the Retaining Teacher Grant Program. School districts can use grant funds to help pursue teacher retention initiatives. The board approved an additional $1.9 million for recipients from the first group of awardees initially given the grant in May 2019. Approximately $1.4 million was also approved for 12 new grantees.
Approved $771,721 in funding for the Teacher Grants for Computer Science Education. Thirty-one local education providers were approved for funding, including 18 rural or small rural districts, ten urban or suburban districts, and three charter schools.