Board members get involved in legislative process

By LEE HARSTAD

Daily Press writer

In the midst of state legislation dealing with accreditation and accountability measures, the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) is holding its annual legislative conferences this weekend.

Moffat County School District Board of Education members John Kinkaid and John Wellman will travel to Denver to participate in the meetings. Wellman and Kinkaid will attend the annual CASB legislative conference while Kinkaid will attend both the CASB conference and the Accreditation Summit.

"With these conferences I hope to bring back ideas that we are able to sit down as a board and chart a plan for our future," Kinkaid said.

CASB Legislation Conference

The council began Thursday, centering on how make schools more accountable. School board members will explore the topic of accountability and have a hands-on learning experience with the legislative process. Titled "When Accountability Knocks, Who Will Answer?," keynote speaker Dr. Mike Moses will discuss his role in rewriting Texas' curriculum standards and bringing about greater flexibility from federal rules and regulations among schools. The Texas school system group testing strategy has improved student achievement and become a model for accountability systems.

"Good things can come from (accountability)," Kinkaid said. "We owe it to the taxpayer to be held accountable. We should be able to communicate with the public if we are meeting our high standards.

"With their knowledge of our accountability, we would be able to implement change."

Kinkaid also believes being more accountable will give districts a chance to set measurable goals and the public will know if the goals are achieved.

A discussion on Senate Bill 114, dealing with a period of silence and the Ten Commandments posting in schools, will also take place during the conference.

Accreditation Summit

After the CASB Legislative Conference ends, the summit will begin. It is being held in an effort to make it easier for districts to identify pieces of education important to improving student achievement and to develop a process for attaining achievement goals.

"The summit will be on what is going to be expected (in the accreditation process) and what we can expect from the state," Kinkaid said.

The summit will also review models of accreditation plans from other states and learn how some elements of these plans can be used in Colorado districts.

"In this dynamic legislative session, with school districts dealing with the process of accreditation, we believe that sharing expertise and strategies will be helpful for all of us," CASB Executive Director Ken DeLay said.

Gov. Bill Owen's omnibus bill, school finance, accreditation and other issues will be the topics of the speakers.

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