Published Online: January 3, 2006

Colorado's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,658
Public school teachers 44,904
Pre-K-12 students 757,693
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $5.6 billion
Minority students 35.4%
Children in poverty 15%
Students with disabilities 10%
English-language learners 12.8%

Summary of Grades

Colorado scores above average in two of the for graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

In standards and accountability, the American Federation of Teachers has rated Colorado’s standards clear, specific, and grounded in content, except for social studies at the elementary and high school levels. However, the state could strengthen its accountability efforts. It sanctions all low-performing schools, but does not provide assistance to all of those schools or reward highperforming or improving schools.

Colorado requires prospective high school teachers to major in the subjects they will teach. Aspiring teachers must also complete a student-teaching requirement. But the state’s teacher quality score dips because Colorado does not require all middle school teachers to major or pass tests in the subjects they will teach.

Colorado receives the second-highest score in the nation for school climate. The state has a class-size-reduction program and its school report cards include class-size data. The state also fares well in policies related to school safety and choice and autonomy.

Colorado scores just below average on measures of resource equity. Colorado ranks near the middle of the nation on the coefficient-of-variation measure, indicating a moderate level of disparity in per-pupil expenditures across districts in the state.

State Policy Report Card
Colorado Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C C+
School climate B C+
Resource equity C- C
Overall Grade C+ C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 35.83 40
Assessment 26.25 30
School accountability 24 30
86 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 31.15 35
Teacher assessment 19.5 30
Professional support and training 14.25 20
Accountability for teacher quality 9.6 15
75 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 11 15
School safety 18.5 20
Parent involvement 12.3 15
Choice and autonomy 18.5 20
Class size 9.54 10
School size 7.17 10
School facilities 7.5 10
85 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 25 33.3
McLoone Index 21.67 33.3
Coefficient of variation 25 33.3
72 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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