Senate passes House education bill


Posted Sun, Apr 10, 2011

Sen. Spence with Senate President.

DENVER- The Colorado State Senate voted 22-13 to pass HB 11-1126 Monday morning, April 4. The bill’s focus is to help encourage greater parent involvement in public schools, said bill co-sponsor Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster.

The bill requires parents to be notified and given the chance to get involved through meetings and public sessions, if their children attend a school which has been deemed by the Colorado Department of Education as needing improvement.

“I believe this is one of the most important things that we do need to be talking about, in terms of education,” Hudak said. “Parents do need to be involved in their children’s education.”

Under the state’s current evaluation system, schools are described as accredited with distinction, accredited, accredited with improvement, accredited with priority improvement and accredited with turnaround.
Sen. Nancy Spence, R- Centennial, proposed an amendment to the bill which would require schools to use the terms outstanding, satisfactory, needs improvement, needs significant improvement, and requires turnaround instead.

“[The Amendment] will require that the department of education have certain category descriptors that clearly communicate, as statute indicates is a good thing, the public school’s level of performance, so that parents can easily understand exactly where their school is in the grand scheme of academic achievement,” Spence said.

Hudak responded asking the Senate for a no vote on the amendment.
“I don’t believe that this amendment is necessary, and furthermore I don’t think it is good,” Hudak said.

Hudak explained that the accreditation categories currently used are categories that CDE gives to the districts.

“The school districts accredit their own schools, and there is no requirement, in current law, for school districts to use the terminology that CDE uses for districts,” Hudak said. “If districts wanted to uses outstanding, satisfactory, etcetera, districts are already able to do that. We don’t need this bill to require them to consider doing it; it’s already in their purview.”

Hudak said she was also surprised Sen. Spence would want to tell school districts what terminology to use as it is moving in the wrong direction, against local control.

“I think schools need to go beyond seriously considering letting parents and community members know how well their school is doing,” Spence said. “Why would we keep parents and communities in the dark with regard to some of these mysterious accreditation terms used? Let’s use plain language that parents can clearly understand.”

The amendment eventually lost by a 15-20 vote.

Colorado Department of Education
1,800+ Schools
40,000+ Teachers
50,000 + Staff
800,000 + Students

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2 Responses to “Senate passes House education bill”

  1. Leah Says:

    Nice coverage, Corey


  2. Heather M. Smith Says:

    Good story and good points!


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