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News Release - State board approves three options for high school equivalency exam

Dec. 10, 2015

State board approves three options for high school equivalency exam

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 9 & 10. Meeting highlights include:
High School Equivalency Exam

The state board voted to approve three vendors for the Colorado high school equivalency exam. A recent change in law required the department to initiate a procurement process to identify one or more exams that meet the requirements in law. The exam is “designed to measure the major outcomes and concepts generally associated with four years of high school education.” The three exams are the GED (General Educational Development), HiSET (High School Equivalency Test and TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion). As part of the procurement process, a panel of volunteers with relevant experience worked with CDE staff to evaluate the tests among 16 assurances including data ownership & security, tester support and cost and fees. The board heard from all three vendors at its meeting and has asked the department to enter into and complete contract negotiations with the three vendors within 90 days.
Commissioner Search Update

The state board received 65 applicants for the commissioner of education position. The board interviewed five candidates this week. The board is in the process of selecting finalists and anticipates announcing the finalists next week.
Recognition of Colorado Milken Educator Award

The board recognized Ryan Moore, an eighth-grade science teacher at Liberty Point International School in Pueblo. Moore was named the 2015 Colorado Milken Educator in October and presented with a $25,000 check from the Milken Family Foundation.  Read the news release.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization Briefing

Staff provided an overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act recently signed by President Obama. View the presentation (PDF) and related news release.
Memorandum of Understanding with Teaching Strategies

The board approved a memorandum of understanding with the publisher Teaching Strategies that clarifies the responsibilities of CDE and the contractor in relation to the use of Teaching Strategies GOLD in Colorado. Teaching Strategies GOLD is one of Colorado’s approved kindergarten readiness assessments. The MOU includes new provisions that will be included in all contracts between Teaching Strategies and school districts beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. The measures intend to mitigate privacy concerns and strengthen the security of information collected by Colorado educators as they use the GOLD assessment. View the MOU (PDF).
Kindergarten School Readiness Reporting System

The state board decided to vote on this item in January. The system will enable the department to report out as required by law on school readiness for Colorado’s kindergartners.
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Description

The board approved the following description for postsecondary and workforce readiness,
“Colorado high school graduates demonstrate the knowledge and skills (competencies) needed to succeed in postsecondary settings and to advance in career pathways as lifelong learners and contributing citizens.” The board is required to review this description every six years and make adjustments as necessary.
Legislative Priorities

The board approved its 2016 legislative priorities.
Rulemaking Hearings

The board voted to table the existing rulemaking hearing for the rules for the administration of the Colorado READ Act (PDF) and re-notice the READ Act rules for further discussion beyond the Office of legislative Legal Services technical clean up suggestions.
The board approved the rules for the administration of the school turnaround leaders development program (PDF).
The board approved the rules for the administration of the waiver of statute and rule (PDF).
The board approved the rules for the administration for the administration of the high school equivalency examination program (PDF).