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Fate of Adams 14 school district in the hands of the State

Fate of Adams 14 school district in the hands of the State

Fate of Adams 14 school district in the hands of the State
June 21
12:22 2018

COLORADO STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MIGHT REORGANIZE THE DISTRICT

Newsroom/El Comercio de Colorado

The community of Commerce City is taking seriously the task of resolving the crisis public schools are facing in their district. “After the community put pressure, the parent-teacher conferences will be reinstated for the next school year. School district officials were also required to clearly define the calendar for their high schools,” explained Tricia Ramsey, member of the Classroom Teacher’s Association, who participated at the community meeting.

Ramsey realizes there are many other aspects for which the community must continue to apply pressure. “We must watch the implementation of the recommendations issued by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to eradicate racism in the district. We must defend the bilingual education program. We also need to prevent high quality teachers and administrative personnel from getting fired,” she said. This activist showed concern for the resignation of the school principals of Hanson and Rose Hill schools, as well as the termination of other employees of the district.

Maria Rodriguez, mother of 4 Adams 14 students shares Ramsey’s concerns. Rodriguez said with sadness, “I am one of the volunteer mothers at the Monaco school. And the doors were closed for us, volunteers.” She added, “last school year I saw too many changes, many of which were not explained. I still want to understand the education model offered by ‘Beyond Textbooks’, company brought by Javier Abrego from Arizona. They haven’t presented a curriculum of studies.”

Actions to be taken

The company “Beyond Textbooks” was hired to work at the district because of a mandate by the Colorado State Board of Education in May 2017. This regulating office determined that an external consultant might help improve the performance of schools in the district. The crisis at Adams 14 is not new. “Adams 14 indeed had more than five consecutive years of low performance on the Colorado’s accountability system” said Jeremy Meyer, Communication Director of the Colorado’s Commissioner of Education. 

Students at Adams 14 have shown low performance on state assessments, without showing improvements from year to year. Also, graduation rates and college enrolment are in descent; while dropout rates are on the rise. “In the fall, the state will again collect information on the 2017-2018 school year for another School Performance Framework/District Performance Framework. If the state’s new ratings this fall reveal that the district has not improved enough, the state board may direct additional or different actions”, said Meyer.

The Board of Education might renew the contract with “Beyond Textbooks” or might hire a different external management partner. Another option is to turn district-run schools into charter schools or give them innovation status. However, the board might take more drastic decisions like school closures or district reorganization. If they go for the latest option, the board would remove the current School District Board and Superintendent.  The final decision would take place in January 2019.

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