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Briefs: Asp joining CDE

Elliott Asp, currently an assistant superintendent in the Cherry Creek schools, is joining the Colorado Department of Education as a special assistant to Commissioner Robert Hammond.

An assessment specialist, Asp is retiring as Cherry Creek’s assistant superintendent for performance improvement. He previously held a similar position in Douglas County and also has worked in Aurora and Littleton.

Asp will work on projects related to assessment, accountability, educator effectiveness and the Colorado Growth Model, according to a CDE statement.

A well-known figure in education circles, Asp has served on numerous education committees and task forces. He begins part-time work later this month.

→ Colorado is above average in the quality of its education data systems, according to the Data Quality Campaign, a Washington-based group that advocates for improved and usable state and school data systems. The campaign issues an annual state-by-state report.

The state meets seven of 10 the “actions to ensure effective data use” that the campaign uses to make its ratings. Colorado met six of the standards in 2011. Only 10 states meet eight or nine of the standards; no state meets all 10.

The major conclusion of the group’s 2012 report is that while states have improved data gathering and data systems, much work remains to be done on dissemination and sharing of data and in training educators how to use data to improve student academic performance.

Read the summary of the national report, see a snapshot of Colorado’s results and get details on Colorado.

→ What does it mean to be ready for college? The Partnership for Assessment of College and Careers, the multi-state testing group to which Colorado has hitched its wagon, recently issued its policy for part of what that means.

What PARCC decides is important because Colorado, for now, is committed to using the group’s tests starting in 2015, replacing the current TCAP system. The testing system will have five achievement levels. The policy adopted by the group earlier this month states that students who perform at level 4 in English and math will have a 75 percent probability of earning a C or higher grade in their first college-level English and math classes.

The actual scores needed to attain a level 4 remain to be determined as the tests are still under development. Get more details in this news release.

Colorado’s representatives to PARCC, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and education Commissioner Robert Hammond, voted to adopt the “College- and Career-Ready Determination” policy.

→ Speaking of testing, 16 Colorado high school students recorded perfect 36 scores on the ACT test in 2011-12 and were honored last week by the State Board of Education. All the students are from Front Range districts, and two are from charter schools. See the full list here.

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