Colorado | Understanding ESSA



April 30, 2015

CO: Gov. Polis Proposes Major Expansion of Early Childhood Programs, Funding

May 5, 2021

A bill being considered in Colorado would establish a dedicated early childhood department tasked with building a plan for universal preschool in the state by 2023. Using funds from a new nicotine tax recently approved by voters, the expansion of pre-K in the state would...

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CO: Accountability Pause Gets Go-Ahead from Biden Administration

April 22, 2021

Colorado education officials were given approval to pause much of its accountability system this school year by the Biden administration. Instead, the state was told to be prepared to meet federal accountability requirements by 2022. Because of the shift, Colorado officials will not have to...

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Early Education in Colorado Receives Significant Boost in Early Education Funding

January 3, 2020

More young children will have “access to quality early childhood services” thanks to a $34 million federal grant awarded to Colorado late last year. The new federal money represents 90% of the $38 million state officials had requested and “comes via the Preschool Development Grant...

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Colorado Repeals Foster-Care Student Transport Law

April 9, 2019

School Transportation News reports that Colorado “has officially repealed legislation passed last year that attempted to better facilitate the transportation of children placed in foster care between school districts.” Despite its initial approval, opponents claim that the law has “introduced unintended consequences.” Under ESSA, “transportation...

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Colorado Takes “Hands-Off” Approach to School Improvement

November 15, 2018

Erica Meltzer reports for Chalkbeat Colorado about the Promise to Practice review of Colorado’s ESSA-based school improvement plans. She write about how the state “largely leaves it up to school districts to choose their approach—and it doesn’t levy the same consequences on these schools as...

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CO Schools, Activists Sue Over Foster Care Student Transport Law

August 15, 2018

Six school districts, two associations, and two individuals are “pushing back against a new state law aimed at improving school transportation for students in foster care,” Christie Renick reports for the Chronicle of Social Change. This law (HB 18-1306)—which helps Colorado comply with ESSA’s foster youth transportation provision—allocates nearly...

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Colorado On Track to be First to Fulfill Foster Youth Ride Provision

April 23, 2018

Chronicle of Social Change’s Christie Renick writes that the Colorado legislature is considering a $2.9 million bill “aimed at improving the educational success of students who are foster youths.” If signed into law, Colorado will be the first state to officially implement a program that conforms to...

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State Plan Submissions and Drafts

October 17, 2017

Approved State Plans Alabama: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Alaska: Final Plan Approved (5/16/18) Arizona: Final Plan Approved (9/6/17) Arkansas: Final Plan Approved (1/16/18) Colorado: Final Plan Approved (5/7/18) Connecticut: Final Plan Approved (8/15/17) Delaware: Final Plan Approved (8/2/17) District of Columbia: Final Plan Approved (8/28/17) Georgia:...

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CO State Board of Ed Votes to Create Quality Systems for State’s Schools

October 11, 2017

In “an effort to keep federal dollars flowing to Colorado classrooms,” the State Board of Education voted recently “to create two quality systems for the state’s schools—the existing one designed in 2009 by state lawmakers, and a new one that meets federal requirements.” After Colorado became...

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Colorado asks Feds for More Time

August 25, 2017

Despite being asked to resubmit their plan by Thursday, Colorado education officials are “asking for more time to figure out how to meet federal requirements for giving students standardized tests while respecting the rights of parents who don’t want their children to take them.”

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U.S. Dept. of Ed Issues Feedback on CO’s ESSA Plan

August 14, 2017

The Dept. of Education issued feedback on Colorado’s ESSA plan. Federal officials directed the state agency to reconfigure “its student achievement goals and academic achievement indicator so that they are based on straight up proficiency rates, not scale scores,” and to provide more information on...

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Colorado Submits ESSA Plan to Dept. of Ed

May 6, 2017

Colorado submitted its ESSA plan to the Dept. of Education. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper commented that the state “looks forward to continuing the conversation with key partners to create a more equitable system for every student in Colorado and ensure that every student is college...

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Colorado’s ESSA Plan Gets High Marks

March 29, 2017

This article was originally published on RealClearEducation. Thanks to an inclusive and well-designed approach, Colorado is among a small group of states that will meet an April 3 deadline to submit plans to implement new federal education legislation. Participants and outside observers have praised the...

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Real Clear Ed Highlights Colorado’s ESSA Plan

March 29, 2017

Real Clear Education highlighted the development of Colorado’s ESSA plan. According to Pat Chapman, executive director of federal programs for the Colorado Dept. of Education, “We have pledged that a year in, we’ll reconnect with people to see what’s working and what’s not,” and “that...

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CO Dept. of Ed Releases First Draft ESSA Plan

February 10, 2017

The Colorado Dept. of Education released its first draft ESSA implementation plan. The plan is available for public comment and consideration until March 13, 2017.

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Education Commissioner Anthes Discusses ESSA Opportunities

December 26, 2016

In an interview with Chalkbeat Colorado, Education Commissioner Katy Anthes discussed the opportunities Colorado has to “reshape or reimagine Colorado’s education landscape.” Anthes argued Colorado has already made significant changes since NCLB, any new changes would be made through the legislature.

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CO Dept. of Education Standards Spoke Committee Holds Second Meeting

August 29, 2016

The Colorado Department of Education’s Standards Spoke Committee, a topical ESSA committee responsible for developing and appropriately reviewing sections of the state plan, held its second meeting this week. The group reports into the formal, central Hub Committee that will have an oversight role in...

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CO Legislature Announces 2016 Interim Committee

August 4, 2016

The Colorado Legislature has developed a 2016 Interim Committee to study ESSA. The committee held its first meeting last week where they heard from several presenters including several representatives from NCSL, the Colorado Department of Education and the Board of Education. The group’s next meeting...

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ESSA Committee Names Announced

July 25, 2016

The names of Colorado’s 17-member ESSA Committee were released last week. The committee will be “responsible for finding consensus while sifting through wide-ranging opinions about how Colorado should run its schools under ESSA.” The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for August 8.

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CO Board of Education and Dept. of Education Hold “Study Session”

July 13, 2016

The Colorado Board of Education met this week to hold a study session with the Colorado Department of Education to discuss ESSA and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s proposed regulations. During the meeting, the group discussed comments they plan to submit to the Dept. of...

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23 Groups Urge Dept. of Education to Reject “Super Subgroup” Proposal

June 29, 2016

A coalition of 23 education and civil rights groups, including the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization, and DFER Colorado, successfully encouraged the Colorado Dept. of Education to reject a proposal that would have lumped students into “super subgroups” rather...

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Summary of CO Dept. of Education’s Recent ESSA Activities

June 13, 2016 covered the State Dept. of Education’s recent activity around ESSA including a “listening tour” and series of webinars. According to the article, Colorado Dept. of Education staff visited six sites and contacted 700 people — parents, educators and others — last month and has...

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CO Dept. of Education Holds Online Listening Session

June 10, 2016

State Dept. of Education held an online listening session to discuss ESSA, and facilitate a community discussion around its implementation. Read more here.  

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Releases State ESSA Primers

May 16, 2016

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s primers include individual state by state accountability system fact sheets, which detail each state’s current accountability system, what could change under ESSA, and what to be asking state leaders. See details about your state here.

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CO Dept. of Education Holds Town Hall Meeting

May 4, 2016

State Dept. of Education will hold a town hall meeting in Pueblo to seek community feedback on how ESSA should be implemented in Colorado. This is the first of an eight part listening tour by the Colorado Dept. of Education. Read more here. 

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CO Dept. of Education Staffer Discusses Assessment Flexibility

May 4, 2016

State Dept. of Education staffer Alyssa Pearson spoke on how states will have the ability to select their assessment tests under the new ESSA regulations. She was in Grand Junction as part of a seven city tour focused on discussing the new regulations. Read more...

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CO State Senate Debates Charters

May 2, 2016

Max Eden, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, authored a piece discussing the current charter debate in the Colorado State Senate – the first major charter debate since the passage of ESSA. Eden noted that “the way that Republicans and Democrats vote should speak volumes...

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