Joyce Rankin: Students continue to improve
School is underway, and a highlight of the August State Board of Education meeting was to review students’ achievement measures from last year and assess how teachers might move forward this year.
Preliminary results from the 2018 assessments were revealed to the public in August. All the school and district scores appear on the Colorado Department of Education website. There, you can review all the district and school results and results broken down by a variety of subgroups.
Overall, students in Colorado continue to improve, though, according to Commissioner Katy Anthes, we continue to see wide achievement gaps among subgroups. The department is discussing how best to support districts and schools to ensure our educational system reaches all students.
Reviewing all the 178 school districts and approximately 1,800 schools in Colorado, one can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of information available. To gain a better understanding of Western Slope schools, I focused on the school frameworks for the area I represent, the 3rd Congressional District. The school frameworks are a way to hold schools accountable for performance on a consistent set of indicators and measures and allow the department to understand how and where to provide support for the lowest-performing schools. Key indicators include academic achievement, growth, and postsecondary workforce readiness.
The school plan categories include — from high to low — Performance, Improvement Plan, Priority Improvement, and Turnaround. After the preliminary results are released, schools have an opportunity to meet with the Colorado Department of Education for a “request to reconsider.” This allows schools to adjust for incorrectly submitted information or — for those that have questions and need additional time to meet with CDE — to refine their effort.
Because frameworks have been recorded since 2010, we now have information to compare schools over time, which is valuable for schools, districts, and the department. In the district I represent, 11 schools have moved into the top-two performance plan areas. Thanks to our teachers, parents, and students, schools in our district are moving in the right direction. The request to reconsider process is extremely important in determining the final ratings, which are scheduled to be made available in November.
I encourage taxpayers to visit the website and learn more about their local schools. And parents, there are specific, student-related test scores and important information you can receive directly from your child’s school.
Thank you for the opportunity to represent you on the State Board of Education. It’s an honor to serve the 3rd Congressional District.
Joyce Rankin sits on the State Board of Education representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. She writes the monthly column “Across the Street” to share with constituents in the 29 counties she represents. The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the State Capitol. Rankin also serves as a legislative assistant for State Rep. Bob Rankin.
About a week ago I was rolling a bale of hay down past the loading dock of the corral so that I could throw hay over the fence. Right there in the path was some rhubarb. It isn’t that the rhubarb hadn’t been there before, but I thought it had died out during the drought. It isn’t easy to get water to that location. The rhubarb is nice and tender, and I’m determined to use it up before the stalks get tough. So I hunted up my rhubarb recipes.