Across the Street column: CMAS scores available soon |

Across the Street column: CMAS scores available soon

Joyce Rankin
Larry Laszlo |

This month ends a full year during which I’ve had the honor to serve the 3rd Congressional District on the State Board of Education.

It’s been a busy an exciting chapter in my lifelong experience and devotion to education.

We’ve had a lot of interesting discussions and votes. One of the most important decisions we’ve made as a board, and my first important vote, was to select a new commissioner. Following four months he resigned. Our acting commissioner, Katy Anthes, is doing great work with a seamless transition into her role.

For the first time, some schools and districts that have been on the five year accountability clock are up for review in 2017. Schools and districts who have failed to improve student achievement for five years must submit an improvement plan prior to July 2017. Some present their plans earlier in order to more quickly demonstrate improvement. Pueblo 60 was in this category and scheduled to present while the board met in Pueblo last month. The Pueblo board said they needed a little more time to get ready for the presentation and are now scheduled for a September appearance. Since our July meeting the superintendent and chief financial officer left the district. With students returning to school this month, Pueblo will be facing some additional challenges which we are closely following.

There is much to do before the calendar year ends. Our August meeting will be held in Grand Junction, which is a great way to show off the beauty of the Colorado West. Unfortunately, the board can’t easily get there. Glenwood Canyon is closed for rock mitigation on Aug. 10-11, the dates of the board meeting. Choices for travel include driving through Craig or over Independence Pass through Aspen. Either way, they will experience the beauty of Colorado. The board meeting will be held at Mesa State University and, as always, is open to the public.

Highlights of the upcoming board meeting include the results of the Colorado Measure of Academic Success. These are results from tests administered in the spring of 2016 and will provide a statewide picture of how our students are progressing academically. These results always get news coverage and public attention. Watch for them next week.

The board will also hear a presentation from the Colorado Department of Education regarding the federally administered Every Student Succeeds Act. Last month CDE pointed out major inconsistencies between the law passed by Congress and the rules subsequently created by the federal Department of Education. This month’s presentation will also include the state development plan to enact ESSA.

In September the board will return to Denver for its regularly scheduled meetings. Until then, it has been, and remains, an honor to serve the students, parents, taxpayers and constituents of the 3rd Congressional District.

Joyce Rankin is a member of the State Board of Education. “Across the Street” will appear monthly.

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