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Monday Churn: Busy week in education

What’s churning:

It’s going to be a busy week. Today, Gov. Bill Ritter submits his proposed 2011-12 state budget – his last – to the legislative Joint Budget Committee and then meets with reporters tomorrow to talk about it. We’ve already reported that he’s planning to use federal “Edujobs” money to fill in for another round of cuts in state school funding.

Today is also the last day to file campaign and spending reports before tomorrow’s Election Day. Thirty-three school districts are asking for more money to build schools, boost their operating budgets or provide an escape from proposed Amendment 61. There’s also a number of State Board of Education, CU Regent and legislative races – and, oh yeah, Amendment 60, 61 and Proposition 101. Check out our Election Data Center for the election issues touching education.

Tomorrow, we’ll be covering the election live with our partners at 9News.

Wednesday, the State Board of Education is slated to sign off on the first school ratings under the 2009 Education Accountability Act, also known as Senate Bill 163. That means every Colorado school is being given a plan type – performance, improvement, priority improvement or turnaround – based on indicators including growth on state test scores by historically disadvantaged student groups. Schools must create plans to improve based on the designation they’re assigned.

Districts also are being accredited and assigned one of five accreditation categories – accredited with distinction, accredited, accredited with improvement plan, accredited with priority improvement plan and accredited with turnaround plan. But those aren’t expected to be made public until December.

This is a major shift in education accountability in Colorado – replacing the old School Accountability Reports or SARS – and we’ll have full coverage Wednesday. But here’s some background to get you started – a one-page overview and templates for the elementary and middle school framework report and the high school framework report. If that’s not enough, there’s a slew of info in the Learning Center at www.schoolview.org.

Also Wednesday, outgoing Colorado Education Commissioner Dwight Jones is scheduled to talk about transition plans – he’s heading to Las Vegas – and state board members will talk about a time line to fill his seat. Here’s the state board’s full agenda.

What’s on tap

There’s plenty more going on this week and here’s some of it:

Today – The road show of town hall meetings on a new state testing system continues with a meeting from 5-7 p.m. at Adams State College, room 130 of Porter Hall in Alamosa.

Wednesday – The Mesa State College trustees meet at 9:30 a.m. on campus in Grand Junction. Here’s the agenda … The Adams 12 Five Star school board meets at 7 p.m. at the Educational Support Center on 1500 E. 128th Avenue, Thornton, in the Aspen Room. Here’s the agenda. The meeting includes a community conversation about district priorities.

Thursday – The Colorado Commission on Higher Education meets at 9:30 a.m. at the Colorado School of Mines to formally receive the higher ed strategic plan … Ritter, CCHE members and other higher ed big shots hold a news conference at 2 p.m. in the west foyer of the Capitol to unveil the plan to a waiting public. … The Denver school board meets at 4:30 p.m. at 900 Grant St., for a study session on student achievement. Agenda not yet posted. … The testing road show moves to Grand Junction with a 5-7 p.m. session in the college center at Mesa State. … The Jeffco school board meets at 3 p.m. in the board room of the Education Services Center, 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. Here’s the agenda.

Good reads from elsewhere:

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