Thursday, October 8, 2009

Last chance to weigh in on Colorado’s new academic standards
It’s the final stretch! The Colorado Department of Education has crisscrossed the state since May to get input on draft Colorado Academic Standards. The standards spell out what public school students should know and be able to do in preschool through grade 12 in thirteen content areas.

Parents, educators and community members can weigh in by Webinar this month only on the final round of drafts. Each one-hour Webinar focuses on select topics:
• 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12: World languages
• 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16: Theater, dance and visual arts
• 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19: English language development - for students learning English as a second language
• 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20: Comprehensive health and physical education

Colorado’s outdated standards have been revised to better prepare students for success after high school graduation - whether they pursue college, the workforce or other options. For example, there’s a greater focus on 21st-century skills such as critical thinking and reasoning, managing new information, creativity, and self direction.

Time is short! The window to share feedback closes Wednesday, Oct. 21. The Colorado State Board of Education will adopt new standards in December.

All you need to join a Webinar is an Internet-connected computer and a phone. Click here to join the Webinar. Log in as a guest and view the instructions. The call-in number to connect to the audio is 1-866-645-5820. Can’t attend a Webinar? Attend one of our public meetings, or visit our online listening log. Click here for details.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Colorado is in the final weeks of revising all 13 content area standards. This has been a year-long process in three phases involving hundreds of educators, business, and community members. As we finalize this work, we are planning ahead to the next step: disseminating and implementing these revised standards.

In terms of timeline, the standards are scheduled to be presented to the State Board in November and approved in December. The first year of the new Colorado assessment system based on these revised standards is anticipated to be 2012. It seems logical to assume that the first full school year that these new standards would be implemented would be 2011-12.

Given this general timeline, what are your needs to be ready for this first year of implementation? What do you see as short term needs (support in the next 6 months)? Medium term needs (support within the 12 months)? Long term needs (support in 18 months and beyond)?

Your input will directly inform our thinking and planning for disseminating and implementing standards. Please give your ideas, build on one another's thoughts, and help CDE help you.