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NCLB Outrages

Colo. plan retools No Child standard

Ohanian Comment: According to the Deseret Morning News, Colorado didn't make the cut:
Of 20 proposals, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee were forwarded for peer review, the department reported on its Web site.

Here's the Colorado letter from the Feds on March 23, 2006. It seems kind of odd that this news article doesn't mention the Feds' reaction to Colorado's proposal.

One thing the Feds say Colorado needs to do is submit evidence as to
The rigor and challenge in the objectives component of Colorado's standards, benchmarks, objectives (e.g., Depth of Knowledge levels for the objectives from the alignment reviews).

One thing Coloradoans need to consider is, after they've jumped through all of the Feds' hoops, how many kids and teachers will be left standing?


By Karen Rouse

Colorado is one of 20 states vying to participate in a federal pilot program that could give public schools and districts a new option for meeting federal reading and math goals.

Some officials say Colorado's proposal - to recognize schools and districts that boost the number of students who are performing at a "proficient" level, while reducing those who fall backward into the "unsatisfactory" category - is a more accurate way of gauging a school or district's performance under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

That's because the proposed alternative looks at how individual students perform on the Colorado Student Assessment Program test from year to year. Under the federal law, the state measures how an entire grade performs in one year compared with how that same grade performed in the prior year.

"It's a more legitimate way of doing it," said state Rep. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs, who has been pushing for the use of longitudinal data for years.

"You're tracking growth of individual students as opposed to comparing third-graders (in one year) to third-graders" the next year, he said.

Under No Child Left Behind, all public schools and districts must show they are making "adequate yearly progress" toward the goal of having all students be proficient by the year 2014.

Fifty-nine percent of Colorado's school districts met federal reading and math standards during the 2004-05 year, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will allow 10 states to participate in a pilot program that allows states to meet No Child goals using longitudinal data.

Under Colorado's proposal, schools and districts could make annual yearly progress if they could demonstrate, using longitudinal data, that they moved at least 2 percent of their "unsatisfactory" performing students into the "proficient" category, and that they reduced by half a percent the number of students who fall backward into "unsatisfactory," said Pat Chapman, a federal programs director for the Colorado Department of Education.

krouse@denverpost.com.

— Karen Rouse
Denver Post
2006-04-03


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