Colorado Makes First Cut in Race to the Top

The Colorado Education Association is pleased that Colorado was selected to interview for Phase 1 of the Race to the Top competitive education grants. Colorado is one of 16 finalists who will travel to Washington D.C. the week of March 15 to present their proposals. Winners of the first round of grants will be announced in early April.

CEA President Beverly Ingle said, “So much work has gone into this process. All parts of Colorado’s education community have been engaged in working together to develop a program that will help advance student achievement. It is great that this effort has been recognized at the federal level.

“Colorado’s approach differed from some other states. This was a collaborative process designed to capitalize on the many advances we’ve made – CAP4K , Colorado Growth Model, new content standards, accountability measures – and move them to the next level. We believe that these programs will make a significant difference in how our schools operate and in improving student achievement. This work will guide the state going forward, because it’s what’s right for our students and what’s right for our public schools,” Ingle stated.

“We applaud Governor Ritter for recognizing how important a fair and effective system of evaluation is to improving teacher and administrator effectiveness. By creating the Governor’s Council on Educator Effectiveness to examine this critical issue and make recommendations, he acknowledges that good evaluation is foundational and must be addressed carefully. We look forward to the first meeting of the Council on March 11.

“We cannot move forward on other issues of teacher effectiveness if our evaluation system doesn’t work properly. ‘The Widget Effect,’ reporting on evaluation in this state and country, pointed out the failures and fallacies of our current evaluation system. In Colorado we believe that we must get this right. It is the basis for other programs and systems.

“We are building a system that will be good for our students, our school employees, and the state of Colorado. That is what’s important. If we have federal funding to help us, we can implement it sooner. If not, we will still continue our collaborative work to improve and enhance Colorado’s public education system,” Ingle concluded.

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