Education standards tour hits Glenwood

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A statewide town meeting tour aimed at assisting Colorado education officials in writing new academic standards for public schools comes to Glenwood Springs Thursday evening.

The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education jointly host the meeting from 5-7 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road.

This will be the 10th of 13 meetings held in communities around the state as part of the ongoing effort to establish a description of “postsecondary and workforce readiness.”

“We’re inviting educators, students, parents, business and community members and interested citizens to offer their opinions on what students need to be successful,” said Samantha Long, Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) project manager for the Colorado Department of Education.

The outreach work will eventually lead to a revised set of academic standards and student assessments for pre-K through 12th grade education, in accordance with legislation approved last year.

The “Preschool to Postsecondary Education Alignment Act” requires that the State Board of Education and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education adopt a “readiness” description by Dec. 15 of this year.

According to Long, the forums will focus on such questions as:

– What do students need to be workforce ready?

– What do students need to be postsecondary (college) ready?

– Are there special considerations in specific regions of the state?

“Often, the ideas overlap in terms of looking at critical thinking and problem-solving skills for the 21st century,” Long said. “The end goal is to use what we heard in meetings to write a description for post-secondary and workforce readiness that will be adopted into law.”

The description will also provide what Long called a “bookend” to the description of “school readiness” that was adopted by the state board in December.

“The idea is to establish a seamless pathway from preschool into college or the workplace,” she said.

The descriptions will guide the new statewide academic standards, which are being revised for the first time since they were adopted in 1994.