Seven Colorado high schools have been designated as “schools of opportunity” by a program that seeks to rate schools on how well they help students succeed, rather than by more traditional metrics such as test scores.
Participating schools were reviewed on practices including effective student and faculty support systems, community outreach, health and psychological support, judicious and fair discipline policies, little or no tracking, and high-quality teacher induction and mentoring.
Organizers of the program believe that more common rating methods often give top designations to schools with affluent student bodies and undervalue the work done at schools with more diverse populations.
Receiving a “gold” designation were Centaurus High School in Lafayette, Grand Valley High School in Garfield County and the Jefferson County Open High School.
Designated as “silver” schools were Center High School, Durango High School, Long View High School in Lakewood and Mapleton Early College High School in Thornton.
Ten high schools in New York state also received designations. The effort hopes to expand to additional states next school year.
The program is directed by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Education Association’s NEA Foundation. The project is being led by CU’s Kevin Welner and Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Learn more about the program and read what reviewers said about the individual schools here.