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News release - Scheffel returns to state board to represent 4th district

March 15, 2018

Scheffel returns to state board to represent 4th district

Feedback sought for new rules on preparing teachers for English language learners​

DENVER - Debora Scheffel on Wednesday was sworn in as the representative of the 4th Congressional District on the seven-member Colorado State Board of Education, replacing Pam Mazanec who resigned her seat in January.

Scheffel, who serves as education dean at Colorado Christian University, was a state board member from 2011 to 2016. A Republican vacancy committee in February chose Scheffel to succeed Mazanec.

Rulemaking notices for educator licensing, preparation and effectiveness

The board approved notices of rulemaking for educator licensing, preparation and effectiveness rules.  While feedback from educators and other stakeholders already had been incorporated into the draft rules, the board’s approval of the notices of rulemaking signals the opportunity for educators and other members of the public to give feedback directly to the board. Written feedback may be submitted online or in an email to the board at by April 20. Public hearings will be held on the proposed rules in May 2018.

Proposed changes to the licensing rules include a draft provision designed to ensure all teachers -- both those currently in educational preparation programs and working educators -- have at least basic knowledge about teaching English language learners.

  • As currently proposed, the rules would require all educator preparation programs to ensure English language learner educator standards are fully taught and practiced. The rules would require at least six semester hours or 90 clock hours of training in educator preparation programs.
  • The rules would require current teachers to demonstrate they have completed three semester hours or 45 clock hours of training on educating English language learners.
  • Waivers from these requirements would be available for districts with an average of 2 percent or fewer English language learners enrolled over the last three years.

Additional proposed changes to educator preparation and effectiveness rules include:

  • Updating Teacher Quality Standards;
  • Revisions to rules around educator endorsements, including adding an endorsement for middle school math and expanding pathways to school counselor and school nurse endorsements.

Standards review and revision

The board heard final recommendations from committees reviewing and revising the Colorado Academic Standards for the arts, computer science and world languages. The board is expected to vote on these revisions at its April meeting. A schedule of the presentations and decisions by the board on the revised Colorado Academic Standards are available on standards review and revision webpage. Following the board’s approval of the revised standards, districts will have two years to make sure their local standards meet or exceed the state standards, with full implementation scheduled for the 2020-21 school year. 

Innovation status approved for Greeley elementary

At its regular two-day monthly meeting Wednesday and Thursday, the state board approved the final written determination of innovation status for Martinez Elementary School in Greeley-Evans School District 6. The school is entering its sixth consecutive year with the second lowest rating on the state’s School Performance Framework, which requires direct action by the state board. 

Innovation was recommended by the State Review Panel and the district, which will allow the school to develop practices to better meet students needs and provide more autonomy on school-level  decisions through local and state policy waivers. Martinez Elementary proactively sought and received approval of its innovation plan from the state board in June 2017. The board decided innovation should remain as the appropriate action.

Charter waiver requests

The board approved a waiver request submitted by Poudre School District on behalf of Ridgeview Classical Schools. The request included waivers related to teacher licensure and performance evaluation. Ridgeview specified it would use locally developed methods to evaluate staff and determine teacher qualifications.

A charter waiver request submitted by St. Vrain Valley School District on behalf of Flagstaff Academy was also approved excluding one waiver that would have allowed the school to waive out of school readiness reporting requirements.

2017 school and district accountability clock update

In 2017, the state board directed actions to 12 schools and five districts with chronic low performance that had reached six years on the state's accountability clock or had received the state's lowest performance rating of priority improvement or turnaround over five consecutive years. Of those 12 schools, Destinations Career Academy in Julesburg, Franklin Middle School in Greeley 6, and Peakview School in Huerfano made enough improvement to come off the accountability clock, earning ratings of improvement or performance. Of the five districts, Julesburg Re-1 and Montezuma Cortez Re-1 improved their ratings and are no longer on the clock.

For the nine schools and three districts that remain on the accountability clock, CDE continues to monitor their progress through on-site visits, grant and support programs like the Turnaround Network, interim data review and process reports, and input from management partners.

Preliminary 2018 school and district performance frameworks will be available in August. Adams 14 School District and Adams City High School, as well as Bessemer, Heroes and Riley schools in Pueblo 60 School District are in Year Six on the accountability clock. They will be required to return to the state board for a second evaluation if they remain on the clock after this fall. 

CREDO data requests

The board approved two requests for student data from CREDO at Stanford University. The first was for the continuation of its National Charter School Study III that focuses on performance of charter schools across the nation. Similar studies were done in 2009 and 2013. The second was for a School Improvement Study that will explore low-performing schools that are on a trajectory for improvement in order to understand what factors lead to that improvement.