Safe and Supportive Schools
School climate is an influential indicator of student and staff health, safety and achievement that can importantly be operationalized and measured. The indicator explores the full experience of going to or working in a school—the presence of healthy relationships, high expectations and mental and emotional nurturing and safety. Schools are both centers for academic development as well as centers for well-being, community, and character development. Research indicates that students are better able to learn when they feel safe and supported by peers and adults.
We must, therefore, prioritize the creation of safe, healthy and inclusive learning environments by investing in comprehensive support that is responsive to both students’ and educators’ social and emotional needs.
Meaningful Academic Standards and Assessments
The Children’s Campaign supports Colorado’s rigorous Colorado Academic Standards and aligned assessments, which represent one important tool for measuring student performance and growth. We acknowledge that students encounter assessments with different levels of preparedness and readiness and believe that placing greater emphasis on growth is imperative. At the state level, annual assessments should be valid, reliable, comparable and culturally relevant to students. Without jeopardizing the privacy of individual students, assessment results should be publicly available and disaggregated to show how results differ across student groups, especially across sub-groups which have historically faced the most barriers to educational opportunity.
School and District Accountability
All schools should be able to support and educate all kids who walk through their doors. Our state accountability system is just one way we can identify and support teachers, schools and districts that are both meeting and failing to meet expectations for the students they serve. Ideally, resources and targeted support are made available to schools and districts that are identified by the accountability system as needing improvement. Schools and districts that are determined to be higher performing can be models for best practices. We believe in a transparent accountability system that holistically defines, measures and depicts what student, school and school district success looks like. A central component of such an accountability system is a state-level assessment that provides valid and comparable data for all schools.
More To learn more about the Children’s Campaign’s recent advocacy in this area, please reach out to Leslie Colwell at [email protected]. Less
To learn more about the Children’s Campaign’s recent advocacy in this area, please reach out to Leslie Colwell at [email protected]. Less
Recent Policy Successes
HB 20-1427 referred a question to voters to raise taxes on nicotine products to fill budget deficits caused by the pandemic, including public education funding, and also establish a universal preschool program that targets the greatest resources to those with the most barriers.
SB 19-204 improves local school district accountability by creating grants to support innovative local accountability systems that supplement and inform the state system.
SB 19-003 expands and funds a loan forgiveness program for teachers serving in hard-to-fill positions due to geography or content area.