“Every day I’m a part of this environment it makes me happier and more thrilled about my life.”
“It was a fun opportunity to see both sides come together, not just Republicans and Democrats, but the Senate and House.”
We’ve long heard that technology will revolutionize education, dissolving barriers created by distance, inequity of opportunity, and lack of resources, and bringing the world to every student.
2017 was a year of tremendous growth and increased impact for STEM education in Colorado. We’re excited to bring you up to speed on our new partnerships and our 2017 accomplishments that helped to increase STEM education and experiences for Colorado students.
December 20, 2017
Denver Public Schools recently received a statement from Denver’s civil rights and community groups expressing concern with the recent school performance scores and calling for corrective measures.
Deb Harding and Tara Hardman co-run the recently-launched Family MakerSpace at STEM Launch K-8, an Adams 12 school located in Thornton, Colorado.
New school profiles include 1-10 indicators for school performance, equity
November 28, 2017 — Colorado Succeeds and key partners, including the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and mindSpark Learning, are joining forces to significantly expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education across Colorado.
As employers, Colorado Succeeds members know the value of high-quality, work-based learning experiences for students.
Colorado Technology Association, Colorado Succeeds and Silicon STEM Academy Offer Computer Science Scholarships for Colorado High School Students
$20,000 scholarship fund will be distributed to 100 Colorado students to jumpstart their future in tech
Nov. 15, 2017 Denver, Colorado – As the technology sector continues to evolve, many companies are having difficulty finding qualified workers to fill in-demand, high-tech jobs. Expanding immediate access to computer science training is a statewide imperative to help continue to build our tech talent pool and fill critical job openings. Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Colorado Succeeds and Silicon STEM Academy have partnered on a $20,000 scholarship fund for 100 Colorado students statewide to jumpstart their future in tech through online coding classes.
St. Vrain Valley Schools is nestled in a suburban community that is also home to a bevy of high tech companies, construction projects, restaurants, and a host of other career opportunities requiring specialized education and certifications.
We are in the Age of Agility, an exciting, unsettling time in our nation’s history.
The Sectors Summit, aimed at accelerating work-based learning statewide, was the largest gathering of its kind in Colorado. Hosted by the TalentFound Network – which includes Colorado Succeeds -the summit brought together more than 500 attendees from business, K-12 education, post-secondary education, and workforce development. Every region of the state had representation.
Valdez Elementary School, Mountain Vista Community School, DSST Green Valley Ranch High School, and Bristol Elementary School split $60,000 in cash awards to reward and promote innovation in Colorado’s public schools. Additional prize money was given to educators making an impact in their schools and among the remaining school finalists.
There is no more important investment that we can make as a society than in education. The scholars of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and ensuring that they are prepared for that experience is crucial if Colorado and our nation
Over the past seven years, with little fanfare and almost entirely under the radar until recently, the 3,000-student Englewood School District has built one of the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs in Colorado.
Demesha Hill, Janus Henderson Investors
Embracing innovation and taking calculated risks are two core values that successful companies encourage every day.
Colorado Succeeds members have a long history of meeting with the nation’s highest education official. Since our founding in 2006, industry and business leaders from our coalition have met with each sitting U.S. Secretary of Education to share a business perspective on education and talent development. We are committed to
Results from Colorado’s 2017 annual statewide education assessment, the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), are in. The assessment, which Colorado has administered for three years, measures students’ academic proficiency and growth in grades three through eight. Students in grades nine through eleven take the college-aligned Pre-SAT and SAT exams.
Those of you who know me well, know that I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek and, in particular, his teachings on how great leaders inspire action. If you are unfamiliar with Sinek, I encourage you to check out his Ted Talk about the importance of starting with “why.” Sinek challenges leaders to not focus on what they do or how they do it, but rather on why they do what they do. In essence, “Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care?”
Like many Colorado mountain communities, affordable housing in Salida is challenging to find, especially for local educators. The Salida School District, in close partnership with local businesses and the community college, took matters into their own hands.
It may seem like an unlikely location for an innovative, career and technical education (CTE) model, but a formerly abandoned middle school building in rural Peyton, Colorado, is now teeming with life, thanks to the efforts of a small group of educators and a large group of business partners. When
The average Coloradan likely knows two basic truths about school funding: It’s a vitally important and contentious issue, and it’s incredibly hard to understand.
School funding is complex in every state, but arguably more so in Colorado than anywhere else. Why? Because a tangle of state constitutional amendments adopted over the
Sean Wybrant, Colorado’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, along with other Colorado education leaders attended a dinner with Google’s Jaime Casap organized by Colorado Succeeds. During that dinner Casap, the company’s Chief Education Evangelist, explained how he approaches education, looks at it through the viewpoint of problem-based learning, and what innovation actually looks like.
The Succeeds Prize – the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado’s public schools and educators – honors the transformational impact Colorado educators are leading across the state. It also seeks to support local teachers, schools, and districts in bringing their best ideas forward.
The Succeeds Prize – the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado’s public schools and educators – will give away nearly $100,000 in cash prizes at a live reveal celebration on October 3, 2017 at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of
By Madison Knapp
Member Since: Founding Member, 2006
Education Goals: To help schools become an epicenter of positive change in communities where our members live, work, and play.
Reach: Colorado, with a focus on service areas in the seven county Denver metro area, as well as El Paso, Pueblo, Weld, Larimer, Eagle, and Summit counties.
Recently-passed policies position state as leader in STEM and workforce development
May 17, 2017 Denver, Colorado – More Colorado students will have greater access to relevant and rigorous STEM learning experiences thanks to innovative policies passed during the 2017 legislative session.
Business community applauds legislators for putting kids before politics
May 10, 2017 Denver, Colorado – In a momentous victory for public charter school students and their families, Colorado became the first state in the nation today to provide public charter schools equitable access to locally-raised tax revenue – funds which all public school students are entitled to.
Educators have the power to transform a student’s academic and economic trajectory. In fact, they are the most important in-school factor for student success. We’ve all had at least one teacher who inspired us to push ourselves and reach our full potential, and who we remember years later. To celebrate National
By Madison Knapp
Member Since: 2017
Education Goals: To proactively build the skilled workforce that we desire and that our state needs.
Reach: Colorado and Utah
As representatives of both business and education, we see firsthand that too many Colorado students are leaving our high schools unprepared for Colorado’s jobs and post-secondary institutions.
Colorado is known nationwide as a pioneering state. There’s no better example of this spirit than our focus on providing high-quality school options to all kids.
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When Gov. Bill Ritter signed Colorado’s teacher-evaluation framework into law in 2010, he set in motion a powerful transformation of the state’s education system.
In business, as well as in education, measurement and data are critical to driving improvement.
By Roberta Robinette, President, AT&T Colorado
If you look up the phrase “computer science in Colorado K-12 schools” you’ll find thousands of results. Apparently it’s a hot discussion topic.
Do you remember what you were doing at the age of 17? If you’re like most of us, your days were probably filled with going to school, completing homework, participating in sports or clubs, and hanging out with friends.
March 13, 2017
Dear Commissioner Anthes:
As a coalition of business leaders, Colorado Succeeds is committed to ensuring that Colorado’s kids are prepared for Colorado’s jobs. We write to you to outline our feedback and recommendations on the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) draft plan for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds
By Kristi Pollard, Executive Director, Grand Junction Economic Partnership
As a representative for bringing business to Grand Junction, I’m always looking for ways to make our region a place for business and industry to thrive. I can’t do that by flying blind. I rely on data to see where we’ve been and to forecast where we’re headed.
House Bill 1184, the Expanding Computer Science Education bill, would make Colorado a national leader on computer science and technology education. Check out this infographic to see how Colorado students, employers, and communities would benefit from more computer science opportunities in our schools.
By Ken Tuchman, Chairman and CEO, Teletech
Educators, education advocates and politicians frequently describe public education reform as the civil rights issue of our time. This may or may not be true, but there is one
A Colorado Succeeds-backed bill that would significantly bolster computer science and tech education in Colorado recently passed its first hurdle in the House Education Committee. The business community turned out in force to support HB-1184, the Expanding Computer Science Education bill. Their efforts helped ensure strong bipartisan passage by a 11-2 vote.
Mike Bowlby testimony on SB-61
Senate Education Committee
February 7, 2017
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, my name is Michael Bowlby and I am testifying today representing the business community as a member of Colorado Succeeds and
Katy Anthes became Colorado’s Commissioner of Education in December 2016, after serving as interim commissioner for several months. Her appointment was a welcomed sign of stability after a series of leadership transitions and staff turnover within the department.
Sponsored by House Speaker Duran and Senate President Grantham
Achievement Gap for Black and Hispanic Students Shrinking While English Learners Fall Further Behind
Former President Barack Obama proved to be a staunch advocate on eliminating the achievement gap in education. One of President Obama’s key objectives of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative was to specifically address the gap that exists between boys of color and their peers.
As a sixth-generation Coloradan, my roots run deep in our great Centennial State. And, as a product of a small farming community that was in one of the poorest counties in the country when I was growing up, I believe strongly that education is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty and elevate individuals out of the situations that many are stuck in.
All children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential – the kind of opportunity that is only made possible by a great education. In order to achieve this goal, the state must put students at the center of each policy decision and promotes high academic achievement for all students,
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For more than one thousand years, science operated under the immutable law that Earth sat at the center of the universe. When observers questioned this law, the entrenched institutions of the time were steadfast in maintaining the status quo.
Ultimately, of course, innovation challenged these institutional “truths” and brought some real answers for how the world works.
2016 was a landmark year for education in Colorado. To summarize quickly, Colorado Succeeds supported policies that:
- Expanded access to high-performing public charter schools;
- Rewarded schools with financial incentives when students earn in-demand workplace skills and credentials; and
- Ensured all Colorado students have the benefit of high academic expectations and that all schools are accountable to those outcomes.
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With fake internet news and hacked political campaigns in the headlines, teachers, educators, and technology gurus are pondering new pedagogical questions: How will kids discern fact from fiction in the digital age? What is opinion and what is advertising? Is messaging manipulation?
By Ilana Winchester
Evan Richardson of Fort Meyers, FL described himself as the typical disengaged high school student. It wasn’t until he was exposed to the plethora of industry credentials in the tech sector that he realized school could be rewarding and relevant to the real world.
The United States ranks first globally for defense spending, third for global competitiveness, and first again in women’s Olympic figure skating gold medals. Our rankings for education; however, are much more lackluster. As shown by the recently-released 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores, U.S. students are trailing the usual suspects, such as Singapore and Taiwan, and some unusual suspects, like Poland and Estonia. The United States’ rankings are as follows:
It’s been nearly 25 years since the toy company Mattel received extensive criticism for producing a talking Barbie doll that lamented, “Math class is tough.” The toy, and many other aspects of our popular culture, have consistently reinforced the idea that girls simply don’t like or aren’t good at math.
Perhaps you recently watched 10-year-old Jack Bonneau, from Broomfield, Colorado, on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank, show pitching his lemonade stand and marketplace business and picking up a $50,000 low-interest loan from billionaire venture capitalist Chris Sacca. First, kudos all around - to Jack, his parents, his teachers, his mentors and his principal - for all the dedication they invested and the direction they gave him to land this deal and attract the publicity that has followed.
Building a strong workforce pipeline begins well before students enter high school. Early literacy is a little known but key factor in ensuring student success throughout their lives.
“Research shows that 3rd-grade literacy is one of the best predictors of high school graduation and a critical indicator of a successful workforce,” says Scott Laband, President of Colorado Succeeds.
Cybercrime and online terrorism are among the greatest threats facing our nation. Just recently, hackers took down some of the world’s largest websites in a massive denial-of-service attack that swamped the Internet in large sections of the country.
In one of Sean Wybrant’s classrooms in Colorado Springs, students are working in teams to create educational games for younger students in the district. In another class, students are crafting business proposals for school improvement projects to be reviewed by l faculty. With his commitment to providing students with real world experiences – in addition to his sheer dedication and passion for teaching – it is easy to see why Wybrant was recently named the 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year.
Our partners at the Colorado Workforce Development Council released the 2016 Colorado Talent Pipeline Report last month. This annual report is a workforce landscape gold mine, highlighting the future of jobs in Colorado and issues surrounding our state’s workforce and post-secondary education outcomes as they relate to our economy. The Talent Pipeline Report looks at current opportunities and shifts in the Colorado workforce including:
Despite featuring all the usual trappings of a typical high school – hallways lined with lockers, periodic tables posted on the walls – you get a sense very quickly that there’s something different going on at the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) in Green Valley Ranch, where I serve on the Board of Directors.
While attending America Succeeds’ always excellent EdVenture conference in Boise in September, we had the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with a non-profit organization that produces arguably the most compelling and visually appealing education data we’ve seen.
As an educator with several years of career and technical education (CTE) experience and a business professional with 20 years of industry work, I am excited about the opportunity Colorado’s House Bill-1289 creates to positively impact student outcomes.
The entire BizCARES delegation at the Swiss Embassy.
Colorado Succeeds led a delegation of twenty-five chamber and industry association leaders – representing every county of Colorado – to Washington D.C., in late September to meet with elected officials, diplomats, and national experts on key education issues and opportunities during an intense three-day trip.
By Jamie Trafficanda
What could you do in just two minutes? Could you face a room full of philanthropic “sharks” to secure funding to turn your big idea into a reality? That’s just what Colorado Succeeds’ own Scott Laband and Shannon Nicholas did during EDventure, a national education summit hosted by America Succeeds.
Photo Source: Climb Higher Colorado
The Sam Gary Branch Denver Public Library was full of energy Aug. 30, as education advocates, community organizers, educators, and parents gathered for a “Convening on Equity and ESSA in Colorado” hosted by the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO), Climb Higher Colorado, NAACP Denver, Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, and other education and civic advocacy groups. The half-day meeting zeroed in on the issue of equity as it relates to the implementation of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Summer break is usually a time to unwind, recover, and relax. Not for the 250 students taking part in Denver Public Schools new CareerLaunch Internship Program. For them, this summer has been a chance to explore a new field, gain crucial experience in the workplace, and earn some money. With these students now back in school, they will have valuable new experiences in the world of work and a new perspective about what to do after high school.
By Ashley Andersen
Member Since: 2016
Education Goals: To help make people’s financial lives better, create economic mobility, and to help build thriving communities.
As a society we expect constant improvement in all aspects of our lives – technology, healthcare, and consumer goods. There is no reason, therefore, why we shouldn’t see continuous improvement in the education we deliver to our children. In order to monitor and improve the health of our state’s education system and ultimately our workforce pipeline, Colorado Succeeds has launched the Colorado Readiness Report, an interactive online dashboard focused on the education metrics that matter most.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) represents a crucial pathway from education to employment. Traditionally a reliable pathway into the middle class, CTE is mired in misconceptions and stigmatized as a route strictly for failing students or a second-tier option for students not college bound. The truth is much brighter:
Colorado’s workforce is changing, and a high school diploma is no longer enough to guarantee future success or employment. By 2020, 74% of Colorado jobs will require some postsecondary education. But currently, less than a quarter of Colorado’s students receive that level of training.
This is the second in a series of blog posts from Colorado Succeeds examining Colorado school achievement data and student socioeconomic status. Our intent is to share this data in an informative and useful way – and to help spur conversation about the importance of student achievement for all Colorado students. Click here for Part 1.
Colorado Succeeds Conducts Landscape Analysis of Certifications, Credentials and Proofs of Competency
Colorado Succeeds recently partnered with the Donnell-Kay Foundation to research opportunities to increase economic mobility for Colorado’s students as they enter the workforce. The study takes a look across Colorado and nationally at the current state of industry-recognized certificates, credentials, or other proofs of competency.
Back when all of us were young, children used to gaze at the night sky and dream of being the first to walk on the moon. Today, kids stare at the stars and likely think about Mars in much the same way.
That would be especially appropriate this week because tomorrow, July 20, is the 40th anniversary of the Viking 1’s landing on Mars — when it became the first spacecraft to successfully accomplish that feat.
In response to the need to better prepare Colorado students for higher education and our 21st century workforce, the state adopted a set of new, higher academic standards in 2010 called the Colorado Academic Standards. This new set of standards includes the Common Core English and math standards. Taken together, these more rigorous expectations require students to learn at much higher levels than in the past. The aligned standards also specify what students should know and be able to do after each academic year in classrooms spanning 43 states.
This is the first in a series of blog posts from Colorado Succeeds examining Colorado school achievement data and student socioeconomic status. Our intent is to share this data in an informative and useful way – and to help spur conversation about the importance of student achievement for all Colorado students.
We all know plenty of students who earn a degree only to be unemployed or underemployed simply because their skills are not aligned to the needs of the labor market. And you know who these people are: They are the boomerang children who went off to college, earned a degree, and are now living with their parents.
By Ashley Andersen
Member Since: 2016
Education Goal: Redefining what is possible for people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries
To get a sense of how profoundly the St. Vrain Valley School District is transforming education, one need only pay a visit to the district’s academic summer camps and talk with students. At one end of the age spectrum, nine-year-olds Uma and Madelynn, rising fourth-graders, proudly show visitors a prototype of SMILE, a “non-bullying social media app” they’re designing with two teammates under the supervision of a district teacher.
On a windy Friday afternoon, Brues Ale House in Pueblo was packed with Colorado policy
makers, business community representatives and advocates, and education leaders for the signing of HB-1289.
One of the most comprehensive analyses ever undertaken of test score data from across the nation lays bare yawning achievement gaps between rich and poor students, as well as white students and students of color.
Salida School District serves 1,100 students in a small, rural district in a bucolic mountain setting. At first glance it might not seem the most likely place to become a hotbed of educational innovation. But in many ways that is exactly where Salida finds itself these days.
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” -Ken Olson, President, Chairman, Founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), 1977
The DEC-10 mainframe filled a room. It was massive and monstrous and entirely magical. I literally shivered the first time I saw it. Total shock and awe—but also because it was housed in a chilly 62 degree room to keep the circuit boards from frying. At the time, there was not even a hint of thought about one day holding a marvelous machine like this in the palm of your hand.
Colorado Succeeds has long believed in and advocated for the importance of students continuing their education beyond high school. This doesn’t mean every student must attend a four-year college, or even attain a two-year degree. But at the very least every high school graduate needs some form of relevant and targeted training or certification for greater career opportunities and mobility into the middle class and beyond.
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Colorado Impact Fund co-founder Ryan Heckman knows what it feels like to attend college – but not quite fit in.
A small-town guy from Granby, Heckman was a former Olympic skier, and a little older than most undergraduates, when he attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the mid-to- late 90s. Eager to learn, he was perplexed that few of his fellow students shared his hunger for higher education.
By Shannon Nicholas
If you think career and technical education (CTE) is just another term for the vocational programs of old, think again. At the Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC) in Denver, the concept of vocational education is being turned on its head.
By Ashley Andersen
Member Since: 2016
Education Goal: To play a role in preparing the future workforce and ensure that there are qualified healthcare professionals that represent our communities.
Reach: Colorado and Western Kansas
Centura Health, the region’s largest healthcare network, has a long history of
All public school students deserve equal access to funding and resources, regardless of the type of school they attend. Yet, on average, Colorado charter public school students receive 80 cents on the dollar when compared with their peers in traditional public schools.
It’s not every day that you get to see a group of young children gather together at the start of the school day to pop the collars of their shirts, hold imaginary microphones in their hands, and say, “thank you, thank you very much,” in their best Elvis impersonation. But then again, it’s not every day that I have the opportunity to witness firsthand what a difference a passionate group of educators can make in the lives of elementary school children.
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A recent guest column, “We should reward best teachers in Colorado,” by Sen. Owen Hill and Tyler Lawrence briefly touched on the importance of the website ColoradoSchoolGrades.com and why millions of Coloradans – 1.3 million in fact – have used it.
Thursday, April 7, 2016 – Denver, Colorado – A bipartisan coalition of legislators and a broad cross-section of stakeholders today called on the Colorado General Assembly to establish equity for the state’s 108,000 public charter school students.
In a couple weeks, most Colorado students will begin taking our state’s annual assessment: The CMAS/PARCC test.
Two bills at the heart of Colorado Succeeds’ 2016 legislative agenda sailed through the House Education Committee on March 28 with strong bipartisan support.
Policy met practice at the Colorado State Capitol on March 14 when Colorado Succeeds co-hosted STEM Day at the Capitol. Nearly 100 leaders from business, education, and government gathered in the Old Supreme Court Chambers to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and impart the growing need to increase STEM learning opportunities at the state level.
WHAT THE BILL DOES
- CDE would create a voluntary resource bank for schools and districts that want to start or expand computer science programs for students.
- Colorado’s State Board of Education would add technology skills to the current content standards, where it deems appropriate.
- The State Board of Education would provide grants to educators wishing to receive additional training in computer science. The Board would have the power to prioritize grants to schools that serve high numbers of rural students, minorities, and/or students in poverty.
WHAT THE BILL DOES
- Creates a pilot program where school districts receive $1,000 bonus funding for each student who (1) earns an industry credential tied to an in-demand job, (2) finishes a rigorous workplace training program tied to key industry needs, or (3) successfully completes a Computer Science AP course.
- This is a flexible, voluntary program that responds to Colorado’s workforce demands. Incentives are based on in-demand jobs that deliver high wages.
- At the end of the two-year pilot, policymakers will evaluate its impact and decide whether to continue the program.
Lynne has long championed education improvements in Colorado
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 – Denver, Colorado – Colorado Succeeds and the business community are praising Governor Hickenlooper’s decision to nominate Donna Lynne as Colorado’s next Lieutenant Governor. Lynne has long championed education improvements and innovations in Colorado and was a founding board member of Colorado Succeeds in 2006.
By Ashley Andersen
Member Since: 2010
Education Goals: To create opportunities to help children succeed and achieve their goals and aspirations through education.
By Alan Gottlieb
Richard Crandall. (Photo source: Chalkbeat Colorado)
Rich Crandall became Colorado’s commissioner of education in mid-January 2016. Since then he seems to have been everywhere, meeting everyone. He’s an outgoing, engaging individual, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm.
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For a better path to the middle class for many students — and a great recruiting pipeline for companies — U.S. education policymakers should consider the business apprenticeship model popular in Switzerland, Scott Laband, president of Colorado Succeeds, writes for Marketwatch. Students in Switzerland can choose apprenticeships in banking or technology as a fast-track into prestigious, high-paying careers. Read more in Scott’s op-ed below.
Revitalization of the School and Community Continues
On a recent sunny Colorado morning, a group of community members, business leaders, educators, and students found themselves sitting inside a former natatorium. Not a swimsuit or a pool towel were in sight, however. Instead, the group was surrounded by an inviting, modern space filled with biotechnical equipment, the latest laptop computers, and new 3-D printers. You see, what used to be the pool at Northglenn High School, a school in the Adams 12 Five Star Schools district, has been transformed into a place of opportunity.
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District change agents speaking during our Great Schools are Good Business power lunch.
Most of us are used to the business concept of the disruptor – a company or idea that utterly changes how business is conducted, for the better. Think of how Amazon changed retailing or how Uber is transforming transportation.
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Colorado policymakers and educators have an important decision to make. We can continue to fall victim to a talent gap, or we can embrace the opportunity and begin to equip our students with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce.
Colorado is a hotbed for our nation’s thriving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) industries, and, in turn, is home to thousands of jobs requiring these skills. By 2020, nearly 55 percent of our state’s top jobs will require STEM skills.
A group of 50 delegates from Colorado and Washington D.C. traveled to Zurich, Switzerland during the first week of February 2016 to gain insight from the successful Swiss dual system apprenticeship program known as Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET).
What do biomimicry, heart valves, and acid mine drainage (AMD) all have in common? Besides being topics that most of us have to Google to understand, they also are subjects in which the students at Thornton’s STEM Launch K-8 School are experts – and they’re not afraid to show it.
On the surface, the consistent rise in high school graduation rates, both in Colorado and across the country, is great news. More kids are persisting through high school and earning their diplomas – which can be critical for both employment and continued education. However, there’s much more to the story, and a closer look reveals some startling trends.
by Maja Rosenquist and Nancy L. Wollen
From Mortenson Construction’s numerous projects across the Front Range to Kaiser Permanente’s 30 medical office buildings in Colorado, one thing is true: Our employees are our most important resource. We rely on them to meet the needs of our customers and keep our businesses running smoothly.
- Transformative, radical change to any system, including public schools, has to be undertaken incrementally.
- Practice humility. This is especially important for the business community to consider when jumping into the at times perplexing world of public education.
- Allow innovators and change agents within systems the space and time to be creative. Give these people autonomy and don’t overload them with responsibilities.
This week, the State Board of Education unanimously approved Richard Crandall as Colorado’s next Commissioner of Education. A review of his policy chops show he’s been strong on issues of importance to Colorado Succeeds, such as accountability, school choice, and early literacy.
Many students, when asked that question, probably think that computer science is a desirable career – but also envision computer scientists as geeky, glasses-wearing, white men. That’s according to new research released by Google and Gallup, based on a multi-year survey of parents, students, and teachers.
It’s no secret that Colorado employers need more skilled workers. From construction and healthcare to manufacturing and IT, thousands of Colorado jobs go unfilled every year because applicants often lack the knowledge and skills needed to fill them. This “skills gap” is unsustainable for our economy, and business leaders across the nation are leading efforts to close it.
By Cathy Shull
Meaningful change takes time and recent setbacks rarely tell the whole story. The newly released results of the first Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests are no exception. Statewide, the scores show that a majority of students are not proficient in English and math. The local results will come out in early December.
Every two years a sample of 4th and 8th graders in every state are given the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) assessment in reading and math, also known as the “nation’s report card.” The NAEP assessment has gained notoriety as the most credible benchmark in student achievement because it is the only test to consistently assess student progress over time.
- Colorado’s students are being measured against higher standards, and that’s reflected in the new test results.
- The new tests are different, so previous years’ scores can’t be compared to this year’s results.
- The results show there are still large gaps in achievement based on race and income.
- These tests are critically important to ensuring equity in schools as well as providing the most reliable information for all parents about their school’s performance.
Colorado Succeeds is working closely with our member Ray Johnson of IBM to expand the P-TECH school model into our state. P-TECH, or Pathways in Technology Early College High School, is a new educational model that bridges the gap between high school, college, and the workforce.
Business community calls for an appeal to ensure a quality teacher in every classroom
November 5, 2015 – The Colorado Court of Appeals today reversed a Denver District Court decision in the Masters v. School District No. 1 case, signaling a major loss for Colorado’s students.
As we unpack the success of the Colorado READ Act, Colorado Succeeds is taking a deeper look into each of the case studies highlighted in our recent implementation study. The third school we are exploring is Rocky Mountain Classical Academy.
We envision a day when all of Colorado’s students graduate high school fully prepared for whatever comes next – whether it be additional education, technical training, or the workforce. To help make this goal a reality, the state has adopted higher standards and better tests. Together, they give teachers and parents a clearer picture of how students are doing and whether or not they are on track to succeed.
Colorado Succeeds’ member Ray Johnson of IBM discusses the innovative P-TECH model at our August 2015 event on Workforce Readiness.
During the 2015 legislative session, Colorado Succeeds championed a bipartisan bill to bring IBM’s innovative P-TECH school model to Colorado. P-TECH, or Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, is a new educational model that has received national attention for its ability to expand opportunities in STEM education and better prepare graduates for middle-skill jobs.
Colorado’s business community depends on the education system to prepare graduates who are ready to make meaningful contributions in the workplace. Yet, too many of our state’s high school graduates need remediation in college or retraining upon entering the workforce.
As we unpack the success of the Colorado READ Act, Colorado Succeeds is taking a deeper look into each of the case studies highlighted in our recent implementation study. The second school we will explore is Edith Teter Elementary.
September 8, 2015
Mr. Chairman and Members of the State Board of Education,
As a coalition of business leaders, Colorado Succeeds is committed to ensuring that Colorado’s kids are prepared for Colorado’s jobs. We recognize that a quality education system is imperative for a prepared workforce, foundational for a prosperous economy, and vital for our students’ futures. We have grave concerns about recent attempts to weaken the state’s high school graduation guidelines and urge you to carefully consider the dire consequences associated with lowering expectations for students in a time when the economy is demanding more from them.
As we unpack the success of the Colorado READ Act, Colorado Succeeds is taking a deeper look into each of the case studies highlighted in our recent implementation study. The first school we will explore is Cole Arts & Science Academy.
Evaluation Study Shows Improved Reading in Just One Year of Implementing Colorado READ Act in Classrooms
July 9, 2015 — According to an evaluation study commissioned by Colorado Succeeds, there is solid evidence showing the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act is helping thousands of students improve their literacy skills after just one full year of implementation.
Starting in 2010, Colorado Succeeds successfully helped build and lead a coalition to implement an innovative policy known as the Colorado READ Act, which sought to ensure that every child has the literacy skills they need to succeed in school and life.
For the first time this school year, thousands of Colorado students took the PARCC test, also known as the Colorado Measures of Academic Success. Looking to learn more? Check out this new video from Future Forward to learn everything you need to know about our new high quality assessment.
By Kent Thiry and Michael Gass
While many states struggle with high unemployment and too few jobs, Colorado has a unique problem — plenty of available and high-quality jobs but too few qualified workers to fill them.
The business community stands behind the state’s education improvements
Friday, April 24, 2015 – Denver, Colorado – Upon hearing Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond’s announcement that he will retire on July 1, Colorado Succeeds and the business community are reflecting on his tenure of strong support for Colorado’s kids.
The debates surrounding testing in Colorado continue as the General Assembly enters its final few days. Colorado Succeeds has played an active role in the testing and accountability discussions at the Capitol. While there are a number of bills that would seriously weaken Colorado’s education accountability system, there are other, more reasonable measures that responsibly cut back on testing while preserving our state’s commitment to high standards and aligned assessments.
April 6, 2015
As parents, community leaders, educators, and civic and business leaders, we are writing to show our support for reducing the amount of testing in K-12 schools while maintaining our state’s nationally recognized accountability system.
442 Signatures from Parents, Educators, Civic and Business Leaders Show Strong Support for Reduction to Testing but not Accountability
An open letter to policymakers details why SB-223 threatens Colorado’s accountability system
DENVER – April 6, 2015 – A coalition of business leaders, educators, parents, and other community members released an open letter today with 442 signatures in opposition to SB-223, a bill that could significantly weaken the state’s important education accountability system.
The business community talks a lot about the importance of a “quality assessment.” Wondering what that means? Here are the pieces of a quality assessment.
By Pamela Norton
Parents, teachers, and the larger community in our state are frustrated with the amount of testing in our schools. Unfortunately, to demonstrate this concern, some parents are threatening to pull students out of the statewide PARCC test. This dissenting voice should be heard, but the tactic of opting-out doesn’t solve the problem of over-testing. Instead, it reduces transparency.
Our newest infographic from Future Forward tells how our country’s standards haven’t been up to par for decades — and how the Colorado Academic Standards and the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS/PARCC) fix that.
As a bipartisan coalition of business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, we are dedicated to ensuring that every student in Colorado, regardless of personal circumstance, receives a quality education and has equal opportunity to succeed. More than three years ago, a broad-based coalition came together to help pass landmark education reform legislation, Senate Bill 191, which became known as the Great Teacher and Leaders Act. Our current coalition, which includes many of those original organizations and numerous others, is here to reaffirm our commitment to the innovative teacher tenure and evaluation reforms embodied in Senate Bill 191.
By Jandel Allen-Davis and David Beal
In the healthcare and insurance industries, we depend on evaluation and feedback from our customers and patients to help us provide better products and services. Similarly, our employees use input from supervisors to mark and monitor progress, celebrate wins, and identify areas for improvement.
By Bob Tointon
Ask any of Colorado’s business leaders and they’ll tell you – the success of their company or organization depends on the knowledge and skills of their employees. Whether we’re in manufacturing and distribution, like Phelps-Tointon, or any other industry thriving in Greeley’s booming economy, we rely on a workforce that is up to the challenges of the job today and can adapt to the challenges that will come tomorrow.
By Kelly Brough
In just six short years, 74% of jobs in Colorado will require some sort of post-secondary education. It’s a daunting stat even for a highly educated region like ours in which roughly 47% of adults have a two- or four-year college degree (which ranks us second only to Massachusetts in terms of degrees per capita).
Relevant, updated Career Technical Education needed for Colorado’s workforce
DENVER, CO – May 20, 2014 – Colorado Succeeds is proud to join leaders from business organizations and major corporations across the country on a letter to Congress urging the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. With nearly 200 signatures, including the Colorado Association for Commerce and Industry, Raytheon, and IBM, business leaders sent a clear message that connects the health of the economy with needed updates to the law.
By Al Timothy
From corner to corner of the state, Colorado’s business community understands that the relationship between our public education system and our state’s economy is a symbiotic one—each one depends on the other for survival.
by Walter Isenberg and Zack Neumeyer
Colorado is fighting harder than ever for convention business — and we are winning. The Denver Business Journal reported last week that the Denver metro area massively increased its convention space and appeal, qualifying us for major events similar to the Democratic National Convention, professional sporting events, and other major attractions.
February 11, 2013
Dear Members of the Colorado State Board of Education,
Once again, please accept our sincere appreciation for the hard work that the Department of Education has put into the rules-writing process for the administration of the Colorado READ Act (HB 12-1238). As members of a broad coalition of parents, educators, civic, and business leaders who supported the READ Act from its inception, we remain attentive to the critical role that the rules you adopt will play in the success of the vision behind the statute. We thank you and the department for your continued work on the thoughtful implementation of this legislation.