Tag Archives: graduation rate

All Eyes (Including Mine) on Radical Westminster School Innovation

I’ve told you before about Westminster School District’s program to move from seat time to standards — re-thinking the whole traditional grade system that has dominated American education for decades — and the Doogie Howser-like potential such a system could offer me. Well, earlier this week, Rebecca Jones at Ed News Colorado chronicled the fact that the moment of truth has arrived for Westminster (aka Adams 50): It’s the last day of the 2008-09 school year in the district. The last day of life as most students and teachers there have always known it. The last day that categories like “third grade” or “sixth grade” – or A or B+ or C- — will exist in most of Westminster. The district is scrapping traditional notions of grade level and doing away with letter grades. Students will instead progress through academic levels 1-10 based on their mastery of subjects, not on the length of time they’ve been in school. This concept, known as standards-based education, has been tried in individual schools and in some small districts in Alaska, but never before in a large, urban district such as Westminster. The bold step is bringing national attention to the district.

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Despite at Least One Glitch, Ed Week Provides Helpful Grad Rate Information

Our governor has placed a lot of attention on the goal of cutting Colorado’s dropout rate in half in 10 years. To get a sense of what it will take to accomplish that goal, inquiring minds should go check out Diplomas Count 2008 by Education Week. (Thanks to John LaPlante at the SPN Blog for pointing it out.) There’s lots of information at your fingertips, such as: State-specific background reports with easy-to-read information … here’s the report for Colorado (almost 26 percent of students failed to graduate in 2005) A tool to compare Colorado’s P-20 Council to different states’ education alignment councils An interactive mapping tool that allows you to see how successful individual school districts are at seeing kids through to high school graduation Memo to Education Week: The Education Policy Center staff here says what you have put together is a great resource for looking at the dropout issue. But did you know that there is no way to find Colorado’s largest school district (Jefferson County, where I am right now) on your mapping tool? It doesn’t come up in a name search. It isn’t labeled on a map of the Denver metro area. What’s the deal? When […]

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