RBC I Annually the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) accredits (or not) every public school district in the state. Last week, Meeker School District (MSD) Superintendent Chris Selle announced that CDE had issued its preliminary 2016 accreditation reports and that the Meeker District has earned a rating of “accredited with distinction.” This is the highest possible accreditation rating a district can achieve. According to Selle, only 12 percent of Colorado school districts have received this rating this year.
Rangely Superintendent Matt Scoggins reports that the Rangely District received an “accredited” rating.
Selle cautioned that these ratings are preliminary, but the scenarios which might cause any change “are very rare.”
Each of the five schools in the county achieved a “performance” rating, which is the highest rating an individual school can achieve. Other categories for individual schools are “performance with improvement,” “performance with priority improvement,” “turnaround” and “insufficient data.”
The CDE develops District Performance Frameworks (DPF) and individual School Performance Frameworks (SPF) on which to base accreditation evaluations. The vast majority of the data considered for the DPF and SPF scores are derived from state testing results.
Selle added that, “While I believe these scores capture only a portion of the learning achieved by our students, they are an important component, nonetheless. The outcomes measured by these evaluations are the result of the combined efforts of every MSD employee. The Meeker community should be very proud of our students and these results.”
Scoggins offered that Rangely, too, is “really proud of their school staff and kids for their rating —and they’re always looking for information that supports improvement.”
In making their assessments, CDE considers three key performance indicators—academic achievement, academic growth and postsecondary and workforce readiness. School districts can disagree with CDE’s initial assignment of an accreditation category by requesting reconsideration based on further information. Neither Selle nor Scoggins think their school boards will be making such a request under the circumstances.
The legislature adopted the Colorado Education Accountability Act in 2009 in order to better align state accountability measures for districts and schools. The act requires these accreditation evaluations to be produced by CDE.