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Thursday Churn: Recognizing ‘distinction’

What’s churning:

Gov. Bill Ritter and education Commissioner Dwight Jones today will honor the first group of Colorado school districts rated as performing with distinction under the Education Accountability Act of 2009.

Eight percent of the state’s districts – a total of 14 – achieved the highest rating category under a new system that considers four performance indicators:

  • Academic achievement on state exams, a possible 15 of 100 points
  • Academic growth on state exams, a possible 35 of 100 points
  • Closing achievement gaps among student groups on state exams, a possible 15 of 100 points
  • Post-secondary and workforce readiness as determined by performance on the Colorado ACT, dropout rate and graduation rate, a possible 35 of 100 points

Districts had to achieve 80 percent of possible points to earn the “distinction” label. Only one metro area district, Littleton Public Schools, made the cut. Others on the list include Academy District 20, Aspen and Cheyenne Mountain 12.

You can find your district’s state rating here and read more about the ratings in this story.

State leaders also will honor academic growth among schools with more than 75 percent poverty rates, called “Centers of Excellence.” Names of those schools, which include several from Aurora, Denver and Harrison District 2, are here.

The event begins at 10 a.m. at the Colorado Department of Education building in downtown Denver.

What’s on tap:

Denver Public Schools board members meet with the Denver City Council at noon for their usual occasional luncheon. No agenda had been posted as of late Wednesday. It should be here when – if? – it goes up.
Also, the Jefferson County board meets at 6 p.m. at the district offices, 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. The agenda is here. Board members will hear a report about the Nov. 13 community budget forums held across the district before recessing in closed session to discuss negotiations with employee groups. Notes from each of the five budget forums are linked from the agenda.

And the Douglas County Choice Task Force, which has gotten lots of attention for its recommendations on exploring vouchers, meets tonight. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will take place at the district’s Wilcox administrative building. The meeting is open to the public.

Good reads from elsewhere:

  • Race to Nowhere: New documentary all the rage among affluent parents. The New York Times
  • Growing influence: Foundations are increasingly involved in education policy at all levels. Education Week
  • Bye-bye: Rhee-hired private operator of D.C. high school gets the boot. The Washington Post

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