Education Policy Networking Series: Innovations in K-12 Accountability

| 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Cost/fee: Free
Room Number: Terrace Room (2nd Floor)
Lawrence Street Center
1380 Lawrence Street
Denver, CO

This panel discussion will explore ways that Colorado K-12 schools and districts are “thinking differently” about accountability. The key features of Colorado’s current state K-12 accountability system were established in 2009 by the Educational Accountability Act (SB09-163). While some minor changes have been made in the last nine years, the core features of that system have remained consistent including: 

  • Annual standardized state reporting on school/district performance; 
  • Substantial reliance on state administered large-scale assessment results to provide “comparable” measures of school/district quality (100 percent of what determines ratings for elementary and middle schools and over 70 percent for high schools and districts); 
  • A focus on both academic achievement and academic growth (using data points calculated from the same state assessment results); 
  • Transparency about and intentional weighting of the performance of disaggregated groups of students (i.e.,  English learners, students who are free/reduced price lunch eligible, minority students and students with disabilities); 
  • Focus on post-secondary and workforce readiness for high schools and districts (although the data points used have changed over time); and 
  • Requirements to link to state accountability data and reporting to annual improvement planning. 

In recent years, local education agencies have explored options for providing a more complete and nuanced picture of school performance to their local communities and providing more diverse and timely information to support continuous improvement.

The panelists for this session have firsthand experiences with these innovations. They include: 

Elliott Asp, Senior Partner with the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) – In January 2018, CEI launched a discussion across the state to explore different approaches and offer new perspectives and ideas to evolve the state accountability system.

Ryan Marks, Director of Evaluation and Assessment for the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI) – CSI annually reviews and accredits schools through a framework that includes academic, financial and organizational performance. In 2018, CSI took a deeper look at accountability for their Alternative Educational Campuses, identifying data points more aligned with these schools’ focus/mission (e.g., serving pregnant and parenting teens).

Lisa Yates, Superintendent of Buena Vista School District and founding member of the Student Centered Accountability Program (SCAP) – SCAP includes 10 rural school districts who engage in annual peer reviews with a focus on multiple measures of student success (including non-academic measures) and system effectiveness, to support continuous improvement. (tentative)

Michelle Murphy, Executive Director, Colorado Rural Schools Alliance – Colorado Rural School Alliance has been working with the legislature to advance state level policy to support innovations in accountability in the field.


Dean Rebecca Kantor, School of Education & Human Development

Appetizers and refreshments will be served.

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