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State Review Panel
With the passage of Colorado Educational Accountability Act, the state has embarked upon a comprehensive process to ensure an aligned and balanced accountability system. The underpinning philosophy of the accountability system is that schools and districts that meet basic state expectations hold increased autonomy; whereas, schools and districts not meeting those expectations will be eligible for increased support, as well as increased monitoring. To support a system of checks and balances, the Act created the State Review Panel.
State Review Panel Responsibilities
The Commissioner may assign the SRP to critically evaluate a school implementing a Priority Improvement or Turnaround Plan or a district Accredited with Priority Improvement Plan or Accredited with Turnaround Plan. Such critical evaluation may include an on-site visit. (See C.R.S. §22-11-208(3)).
Based on its critical evaluation, the SRP shall report to the Commissioner, State Board of Education and the affected local school board recommendations concerning the following six (6) criteria:
1. Whether leadership is adequate to implement change to improve results.
2. Whether the infrastructure is adequate to support school improvement.
3. The readiness and apparent capacity of personnel to plan effectively and lead the implementation of appropriate actions to improve student academic performance within the school or district.
4. The readiness and apparent capacity of personnel to engage productively with and benefit from the assistance provided by an external partner.
5. The likelihood of positive returns on state investments of assistance and support to improve the performance within the current management structure and staffing.
6. The necessity that the public school/district remain in operation to serve students.
Review Structure and Recommendation
The Recommendation Process is a multi-phase process that relies on available evidence from the first year of the school's/district's time on the Accountability Clock through the current year. This process is summarized below:
1. Evidence Review
- As part of being designated a State Review Panelist, the Panelists review schools'/districts' information using three methods: a review of documentation generated during their years as an identified school/district; a site visit conducted by the SRP; and a review of the school's/district's Pathways planning documented in its Unified Improvement Plan (UIP).
2. Recommendation Process
- Panelists study the collective evidence and consider the school's/district's capacity levels as Not Effective, Developing, Effective, or Highly Effective in each of the six critical factors (listed above).
3. Development of SRP Recommendation Form and Presentation to the Commissioner and State Board of Education
- The Recommendation Form includes the Panelists' recommended course of action for the school/district and attributes evaluate comments, evidence, and a rationale to justify the recommendation.
- The Commissioner and State Board of Education receive a recommendation from the SRP and a detailed report on the school/district from CDE; they rely on these sources of evidence to inform their final decision.
State Review Panelists
State Review Panelists are annually appointed by CDE’s Commissioner, with the approval of the State Board of Education. To ensure there is sufficient expertise on the SPR to effectively evaluate whether a school or district has met the requirements for the recommended action(s), Panelists are assigned to schools and/or districts based on the areas of expertise they possess in alignment with the school's/district's need. These may include, for example, expertise in rural and/or urban settings; with English language learners; charter schools; alternative schools, online or blended learning schools; and/or in various leadership positions. State Review Panelists must have expertise in one or more of the following fields:
- School district or school leadership or governance
- Standards-based elementary or secondary curriculum instruction and assessment
- Instructional data management and analysis
- School district, school, or program evaluation
- Educational program management
- Teacher leadership
- Organizational management or school district and public governance
- School district or school budgeting and finance
- Any other field that the commissioner deems to be relevant to the review and evaluation of school district, institute, or public school performance or improvement planning.