Colorado Board Of Ed Backs Off School Rating Proposal

After protest from education reform and civil rights groups, the State Board of Education has backed away from a proposal that would change how it rates schools.

Currently, schools get points based on the performance of scores of students in several categories including those living in poverty, English language learners, or students with disabilities. The proposal was to combine the subgroups into one supergroup and give the combined group a rating.

The board recommended sticking with the current system of reporting groups individually on the performance report.

Civil rights and reform groups say the proposal would have made it harder to tell which teaching strategies are working and which are not.

"It assumes that all students with color, students with disabilities, students learning English, and students living in poverty have the same assets and struggles which we all know is fundamentally untrue," said Leslie Colwell, with the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

Smaller schools and districts say the current system doesn’t give an accurate picture of how they are educating at-risk students. They say it penalizes them because many students fall into multiple categories, and are counted multiple times. They say that skews results making it look like student achievement is worse than it really is.