Graduation guidelines

Alphabet Soup:
Understanding policy change
ICAP – PWR – HEAR – Endorsed diploma –
Grad guidelines – PARCC – ASSET – Remedial
policy – ASCENT – ISR – CAP4Kids – College
admissions standards – Common Core – CAS
A quick review – back to 2008
Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids:
• 2008 law that Matt Gianneschi helped write
(he’s the DHE deputy executive director)
• Called for standards (Common Core & more)
• Called for tests (PARCC) aligned to standards
• Called for the adoption of school readiness
assessments and a state definition of
postsecondary and workforce readiness (PWR)
CAS & Common Core State Standards
• 2009 – State Board of Education adopts
Colorado Academic Standards in 10 content
areas and English language proficiency
• 2010 – State board adopts Common Core in
math, reading, writing and communicating
• Analysis found 95% alignment between CAS
and Common Core
• 46 states & D.C. have adopted the Common
Core standards in math and language arts
Example of CAS & Common Core
• 9th-grade, oral expression and listening
PARCC = Partnership for Assessment of Readiness
for College and Careers
• PARCC is a consortium of 22 states, including
Colorado, working to develop a common set of
grades 3-11 assessments in English and math
• PARCC tests, which may be called something
else, will take the place of the annual
CSAP/TCAP exams in reading, writing and math
in spring 2015
PARCC & College Readiness
• New use of state tests; CSAP/TCAP not used for
either college admissions or remedial placement
• (Proposed) State colleges and universities will
begin using 11th-grade PARCC results as one
factor in college admissions
• (Proposed) State colleges and universities will use
11th-grade PARCC results as one factor in deciding
whether a student needs remediation
• Decision expected by CCHE in December 2013
PWR: Bringing it all together
PWR = Postsecondary and workforce readiness
• The goal of CAP4K is to align education from
preschool to postsecondary
• Colorado K-12 and higher ed governing bodies
agreed on description of PWR in 2009
• The description is detailed, yet difficult to
– Example: Literacy – Graduates should be able to
use logic and rhetoric to analyze and critique ideas
Next step: PWR endorsed diplomas
• Description of PWR led to diploma criteria:
– Complete HEAR or prove remediation is not needed
– Complete ICAP
– Demonstrate 21st Century Skills by completing
volunteer work, internship/employment and
extracurricular activities
– Show mastery in at least three academic subjects. (Ex.
Math – GPA of 3.0 or better in four qualifying classes
plus achieving certain score on state or other tests
What PWR endorsed diploma means
• Intended to identify student excellence over
and above standard high school diploma
• Expected to mean automatic admission to
most Colorado colleges and universities
• Piloted in Aurora, Sterling school districts in
• Voluntary use by all districts expected in 201415
Still to come …
Graduation guidelines
• Vote by State Board of Education this week
• Proposed to start with 6th-graders in fall 2014
Revised college admissions standards and
remedial education policy
• Vote by CCHE in Dec 2013
• Proposed to start with 9th-graders in fall 2014
Graduation guidelines
• 2007 law requires the setting of graduation
guidelines local districts must meet or exceed
• Recommended guidelines are essentially a series
of cut scores for various tests – i.e., 18 in English
and 19 in math on the ACT
• Cut scores are based on what’s required for
entering college without needing remediation,
what’s considered proficient on state exams, etc.
• Concerns expressed by various groups
College admissions policy review
• State law requires review of DHE policies
• Proposed admissions changes:
– eliminate the admissions index, based on
grade point average or class rank and
ACT/SAT score
– emphasize demonstrations of competency,
such as HEAR or concurrent enrollment,
– add PARCC results as a factor in admissions
Remedial education policy review
• Proposed remedial policy changes
– differentiated cut scores for math
remediation based on chosen field of study
– use of PARCC, Compass and Smarter
Balanced, in addition to ACT, SAT and
Accuplacer, to determine placement
– review of current cut scores and
subsequent achievement
• Town halls now gathering feedback
CCCS remedial education changes
• Colorado Community College Board approved
major changes to remedial education in Feb
• Goal is through remediation in one semester
or less
• New formats include brief refresher courses,
“support” classes, STEM and non-STEM math
remedial requirements
• Implementation complete by fall 2014
Handy timeline for reference
2013 (May) – Graduation guidelines adopted
2013 (Nov) – Ballot measure to boost K-12 school funding
2013 (Dec) – Admission and remedial policy changes to be adopted
2013-14 – Implementation of new standards; statewide implementation of
S.B 191 educator evaluations begins
• 2014-15 – New 12th-grade state science and social studies tests begin in
fall 2014 while new PARCC assessments begin in spring 2015 for grades 311; community college remedial changes in place; all districts may
participate in endorsed diplomas (proposed); new educator evaluations
continue with ineffective ratings counting towards loss of nonprobationary status
• 2018-21 – Graduating seniors must meet new graduation guidelines and
new college admissions and remedial policies (proposed)
Etc. & questions
• 11th-grade ACT is not going away – yet
• Accuplacer stays – for now
• What would you like to know more about?

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