The timing couldn't be better.
One day after Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed legislation linking educator performance evaluations to student academic progress, the federal government granted $17.4 million to track the state's student performance data over time. The system will create a unified record of student test scores and attendance, from pre-school through college - and even graduate school - across all schools attended. Student privacy will be protected.
"There are two things we can do with this data," said Richard Wenning, associate education commissioner. "One, by connecting all of those dots, we will have a much better understanding of our education system. And, two, we will be able to answer critical questions of what is working and what is not."
Although Colorado was awarded the fourth-largest amount of the 20 states which shared $250 million in federal stimulus money, its per-pupil amount of $21.70 easily topped all other states, including New York and Texas. Colorado Education Commissioner Dwight Jones said the May 21st federal grant announcement validates the state's education reform efforts.
Source: "Colorado gets $17.4 million grant for data system to track student progress," by Jeremy P. Meyer, www.denverpost.com/education/ci_15139046.