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Tuesday Churn: Time to decide


What’s churning:

The Educational Success Task Force, a panel of lawmakers and educators, convenes for a last time today to vote on five proposed bills for the 2012 legislative session.

The committee’s assignment was to study ways to improve high school and college completion rates and to “recommend strategies and tools for identifying and remediating students at the significant transition points” in their educational careers. The six legislator members of the task force today will vote on five bills, including:

  • A dropout recovery proposal that would allow school districts and colleges to enter agreements under which students could earn credits toward high school graduation while attending college. Bill text
  • The “Accuplacer proposal,” which would require “starting in the 2012-13 school year, each public school, including each charter school, that includes grades 9 through 12 will administer to students in those grades the basic skills placement or assessments tests (basic skills tests) in math and English that are used by the community colleges for first-time freshman students.” Bill text
  • A bill that would require the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to “to develop criteria for awarding credit for a student’s prior learning through work experience, military service, community involvement, or independent study and to define a process to assess prior learning. Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, public institutions will implement a program awarding academic credit for a student’s prior learning.” Bill text
  • A middle school intervention plan that would direct “school districts to adopt procedures by which the public schools of the school district use available data to identify and provide intervention services to students in grades 5 through 8 who are exhibiting behaviors that indicate the students are at increased risk of dropping out of school.” Bill text
  • A plan that would allow retroactive awarding of associate degrees to students who earn sufficient credits while attending a four-year college. Bill text

The task force’s work has been closely watched by education lobbyists and others, and whatever proposals emerge are expected to be among the highest-profile education bills of the 2012 session.

Today’s 1 p.m. meeting at headquarters of the Colorado Community College System, 9101 E. Lowry Blvd. will include public testimony, and non-legislator members of the task force will be able to participate in discussion of the bills and amendments before the six legislators – evenly balanced between the two houses and the two parties – vote.

The proposed bills will be reviewed by Legislative Council on Nov. 8.

Committee website with list of members, prior meeting summaries and audio and links to resources used by the task force