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News Release - State board presented with state results for new English language arts and math tests

Nov. 12, 2015

State board presented with state results for new English language arts and math tests  

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 11 & 12.  Meeting highlights include:

State-Level Results for New Tests in English Language Arts and Math

The department released state-level results from the first administration of Colorado’s new tests in English language arts and math. Part of the state assessment system called the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, the English language arts and math tests were developed – as required by state law – in collaboration with a consortium of states known as the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC).  The new tests were given to public school students in grades three through high school in the spring of 2015. The new tests are the first to be aligned to Colorado Academic Standards designed to help all students graduate ready for college and career. Results should be considered only as a new baseline for measuring student success. To view the results, read the news release.  District- and school-level results will be available Dec. 11.

Recognition of Colorado Early Colleges

The board recognized Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins as a top-ranked school in Colorado and ranked 66th in the nation by Newsweek Magazine. The Newsweek High School Rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. Colorado Early Colleges provides students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to start working on college-level courses and earn college credits prior to graduation. Qualifying students can take college courses off-campus at Front Range or Aims community colleges. View the list of Colorado rankings.

ESEA Waiver Renewal

The board approved proposed changes to Colorado’s Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver and directed staff to submit the amended ESEA waiver renewal request to the U.S. Department of Education for one-year approval. The ESEA waiver allows Colorado schools and districts to use the state’s accountability system as the single accountability system, instead of implementing dual, and sometimes conflicting, state and federal accountability systems. View the presentation.

Proposed Fee Increase for Educator Licenses

The board approved an increase to educator licensing evaluation fees.  The new fee structure increases an in-state application by $10 and out-of-state application by $30. The new fees will begin in March 2016. The increase is designed to preserve the responsive and timely completion of the office’s educator licensing and enforcement and enhance support to educator preparation programs.  The last fee increase was in 2011. View the presentation.

Commissioner of Education Search

The state board will hold a special executive session meeting on Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to finalize interview questions and procedures as well as review applicants. Interviews will be held Dec. 7 & 8. The board may hold another meeting the week of Dec. 14 for additional interviews, if necessary.

Assessment Pilot          

Last month staff presented information on the progress of the Accountability Work Group.  With guidance from the work group, the department has been facilitating conversations on changes to the accountability system and has found some themes among the wide range of districts interested in this work. A number of districts are interested in piloting new ideas about school and district quality and accountability. Today staff presented information on an assessment pilot proposal.  The goals of the pilot proposal are to reduce the amount of state tests while still providing transparency on school and district performance and a comparable measure of student performance. The board decided to discuss this further at a future meeting. View the presentation.

School Turnaround Leaders Development Program

The board approved two additional providers for the School Turnaround Leaders Development Program. The approved programs are Relay Graduate School of Education for its Principal Supervisor Program and Promethean (with the University of Florida) for its Turnaround School Leaders Program.  One of the objectives of the Turnaround Leaders Development Grant is to identify providers of high-quality turnaround leadership development programs and award one-time design grants to enhance their ability to develop or expand programs that nurture and support school leaders capable of turning around low-performing schools. These join five other already approved programs. View the presentation.  Next week, CDE will release the Participant RFP to eligible districts in order to apply for financial support for the identified providers.  All information and applications for this program can be found at:

Policy for Private Gifts, Grants and Donations

The board adopted the policy for the acceptance of private gifts, grants and donations. The policy defines that the commissioner and department may not accept private gifts, grants or donations for the purpose of developing or influencing education policy. Private gifts, grants, and donations may be accepted for the purposes of implementing existing policies and laws and delivering direct services to students, local boards of education, teachers or administrators.

Rulemaking Hearing on Educator Preparation and Licensing

The board held a hearing on proposed revisions to educator preparation and licensing rules.  The proposed rules are intended to provide better alignment to current statute and the expectations outlined in student and educator standards. Staff shared feedback already received on the proposed revisions before the hearing. The board has indicated they may vote on adoption of the rules as early as January. View the presentation.

Other action:

  • The board voted to deny Arapahoe County School District No. 1’s request to dismiss TriCity Academy’s third charter school appeal. As a result of the state board’s action, the district and Tri-City Academy will come before the board for a public hearing on the charter school appeal.
  • The board approved innovation applications for Denver Public Schools’ Legacy Options, Joe Shoemaker Elementary School and Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design.
  • The board approved the notice of rulemaking hearing to amend the rules for the administration of the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act.