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News Release - State Board Approves High School Science Cut Scores

May 14, 2015

State Board Approves High School Science Cut Scores

Outstanding School library programs, Excellent Online and Blended Learning Educators recognized

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on May 13 and 14, Meeting highlights include:

Cut Scores for High School Science Tests Approved

The board adopted cut scores and performance level descriptors for the Colorado Measures of Academic Success test in science taken by high school students last fall, Cut scores delineate student results into one of four achievement levels. The board's motion places 25 percent of students tested in the "strong' and "distinguished command' achievement levels.

Following the board's motion, the department will produce individual score reports for students, but aggregate school-level and district-level data will not be produced, The cut scores must be reviewed and approved by the board before being used again in future years,

Cut scores for the CMAS social studies tests taken by high school students last fall were not approved by the board.

Board Denies Districts' Requests for Waivers from State Tests

The board voted to deny requests from 29 districts for waivers from the performance-based component of the PARCC-developed English language arts and math tests, The districts requested waivers following the board's action in January directing the commissioner to grant waivers to local school boards and districts to the performance-based component of the tests,

The board also rescinded its original action in January on the waivers, The Attorney General's Office issued a formal opinion in February stating that the board did not have the authority to direct the commissioner of education to grant the waiver requests.

Board Rejects Revised Menu of State Graduation Guidelines

The board voted against proposed revisions to guidelines for local school districts to establish high school graduation requirements. In 2013 the board adopted guidelines and directed the department to get further feedback from educators and community members. The proposal considered today incorporated several changes to the original 2013 menu of graduation requirements, State law requires the board to adopt graduation guidelines that will be used by local school districts to set high school graduation requirements for the class of 2021 and beyond,  Without a vote today, the 2013 adopted menu remains as guidance for local school districts in setting their policies.

Consideration of Healthy Kids Survey Tabled Indefinitely

The board voted to table indefinitely its consideration of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, which collects anonymous information from students in sixth to 12th grade about health‐related attitudes and behaviors. Last, month the Attorney General issued a formal opinion which said schools are not required to obtain written parental consent before students take part in the survey because the survey is optional. Schools can continue using passive consent practices as allowed by local district and school policy,

Educator Licensure Test Approved for Mandarin Chinese

The board approved content and recommended cut scores for two assessments for educator licenses to teach Mandarin Chinese. The separate tests are administered by ETS and Pearson.

Outstanding School Library Program; Online and Blended Learning Educators Recognized

The board recognized recipients of the 2015 Highly Effective School Library Program which honors school librarians for their innovative ideas to improve student learning, Emily Hungerford, a teacher-librarian at Barnum Elementary in Denver and a recipient of the program, addressed the board on behalf of all recipients,

The board also recognized Dala Bonavita, a counselor at Falcon Virtual Academy, and Kate Stevens, teacher at PSD Global Academy, for receiving the 2014-15 Online and Blended Educator Recognition Award.

State Board Directs Local Boards to Approve TriCity Academy's Charter School Application

After hearing testimony on two separate charter school application appeals brought by TriCity Academy, the state board voted to direct the local boards in Englewood Schools and Sheridan School District to approve TriCity Academy's applications to open a K-8 charter school,

Alternative Teacher Preparation Program for Military Personnel Approved

The state board voted to authorize School Leaders for America's alternative teacher preparation program for experienced senior military personnel, The program will be named the Dr. Cal Frazier Teacher Fellow Program after a former state education commissioner.

New Rules Adopted for Food and Nutrition Services, Accounting and Reporting, and the READ Act

The board conducted rulemaking hearings and approved revisions to rules for Food and Nutrition Services and for Accounting and Reporting.

The board also voted to approve revisions to rules for the administration of the READ Act,

Search Firm to be Engaged for Commissioner of Education

The board voted to develop a request for proposals from firms qualified to conduct a national search to replace State Education Commissioner Robert Hammond, who announcement earlier this month he will retire at the end of June, Board members Jane Goff, Steve Durham and Val Flores were appointed to serve on a subcommittee to develop the RFP for the search firm and facilitate the selection process for the entire board,

Anyone interested in serving as interim commissioner should submit a resume to Bizy Burdsall, interim director of state board relations at,