Colorado has not determined how each indicator will be weighted.
While Colorado’s plan describes how each of the measures that might be used in the accountability system are valid, reliable, comparable across schools, and supported by research, it has not yet determined how each indicator will be weighted in its accountability system.
Colorado’s plan is lacking indicators that would better match its long-term priorities.
The plan could be improved through the inclusion of early childhood as well as postsecondary and workforce readiness indicators.
The state could also develop a menu of college- and career-ready predictors (e.g., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or industry credentials) to help ensure schools are equipping students for success after high school.
Colorado should have a stronger plan in place to ensure that parental opt-outs do not undermine the school-rating system.
As the state transitions to the SAT, it may be useful to include the percentage of students meeting the college-readiness benchmark.
Similarly, some of Colorado’s indicators could be altered or strengthened to better align with its goals.
Colorado has proposed an alternative measure for including proficiency on statewide annual assessments in its accountability system called mean scale scores. This measure merely reflects schoolwide averages and does not track the percentage of students meeting grade-level standards.
While Colorado’s plan includes four-, five-, six-, and seven-year graduation rates in its accountability system, it could strengthen its plan by placing greater weight on its four-year graduation rate.
The state’s use of a dropout rate as its indicator of school quality and student success for high schools is also questionable. The dropout rate is a measure of retention, not attainment, and it may send an inaccurate view to parents and the public of the effectiveness of the education system.