(1) The general assembly hereby finds that an effective system of statewide education accountability is one that:
(a) Focuses the attention of educators, parents, students, and other members of the community on maximizing every student's progress toward postsecondary and workforce readiness and postgraduation success;
(b) Reports information concerning performance at the state level, school district or institute level, and individual public school level that is perceived by educators, parents, and students as fair, balanced, cumulative, credible, and useful;
(c) Provides more academic performance information, and fewer labels, to move from a punitive accountability system to one that is positive and focused on learning and achieving high levels of academic performance; and
(d) Holds the state, school districts, the institute, and individual public schools accountable for performance on the same set of indicators and related measures statewide, ensures that those indicators and measures are aligned through a single accountability system, to the extent possible, that objectively evaluates the performance of the thorough and uniform statewide system of public education for all groups of students at the state, school district or institute, and individual public school levels, and, as appropriate, rewards success and provides support for improvement at each level.
(2) The general assembly further finds that an effective education accountability system will be built around implementation of the Colorado growth model that:
(a) Uses a common measure to describe in plain language how much academic growth each student needs to make and how much growth the student actually makes in one year toward proficiency on state content standards;
(b) Incorporates a complete history of each student's assessment scores in calculating the student's needed and achieved academic growth;
(c) Focuses the attention of educators, parents, and students on maximizing students' academic growth and achievement over time and reveals where, and among which groups of students, the strongest academic growth is occurring and where it is not;
(d) Assists the state in closing the achievement gaps that plague the public education system by spotlighting the gaps in students' academic growth rates and ensuring that educators have the data necessary to assist the neediest students in making more than a year's academic growth in a year's time so that these students can catch up to the academic performance levels of their peers; and
(e) Provides data that are recognized by educators, parents, students, the higher education community, the business community, and other stakeholders as fair, balanced, objective, and transparent to support individual school, school district, institute, state, and federal education accountability purposes.
(3) The general assembly concludes, therefore, that it is in the best interests of the state to adopt an aligned education accountability system for public education in this state that:
(a) Holds the state, school districts, the institute, and public schools accountable on statewide performance indicators supported by consistent, objective measures;
(b) Incorporates input from parents, educators, administrators, and the community in establishing clearly defined statewide academic performance objectives;
(c) Reports performance in clear, readily understandable terms;
(d) Is adaptable to accommodate and include additional data that become available as the state implements the “Preschool to Postsecondary Education Alignment Act”, part 10 of article 7 of this title, including but not limited to data concerning school readiness and postsecondary success;
(e) Recognizes and rewards areas of success, while also identifying and compelling effective change for areas in need of improvement; and
(f) Ensures the availability of technical assistance, services, and support for public schools, school districts, and the institute to improve students' academic performance.
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