Colorado Panel Urges Reforms, End to Tenure

By Elaine Yaffe — March 28, 1984 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Colorado Springs--Gov. Richard D. Lamm’s Task Force on Excellence in Education has added its voice to the chorus of Colorado commissions recommending the replacement of the state’s teacher-tenure law with an evaluation system that is objective, fair, effective, and involves teachers.

But since the state legislature has already deleted the tenure repeal from an evaluation bill currently in the Senate, observers suggest that it is unlikely that this recommendation will fare any better than its predecessors.

‘Remarkable’ Consensus

The 34-member task force, which included representatives from all the major education associations in Colorado--teachers’ unions, school boards and administrators’ associations, as well as the state education department--recorded a “remarkable degree of consensus” in arriving at 46 different recommendations, according to its report.

Cautioning that “more alone will not be better,” the task force none-theless recommended an increase in the amount of money the state spends on education and urged an increase in educators’ salaries so they will be “competitive.”

It also urged the legislature and Governor to appoint a commission to evaluate the state’s finance system for education before the 1985 legislative session. Clearly disapproving of the current system of providing dollars based on attendance figures, the task force said a finance system should be designed to promote “quality.”

In recommendations that spanned almost every facet of education, the task force, which met over a period of six months, repeatedly called for strengthening requirements for everything from high-school graduation to hiring superintendents.

It suggested a number of ways to strengthen the schools’ academic program, urging districts to discourage extracurricular activities that take time from academic subjects, the legislature to insist on make-up days for any time missed for activities such as teacher meetings or pep rallies, and institutions of higher ed-ucation to strengthen their entrance requirements as an incentive to high schools to increase graduation standards.

Non-College-Bound Neglected

But the task force warned districts not to continue what it said was neglect of the 60 percent of the state’s students that do not continue their education after high school. It recommended that districts establish boards to review the total curriculum, paying careful attention to the needs of the non-college-bound and to developing improved vocational programs.

It also suggested that classes in grades K-4 be reduced to a maximum of 15 students and that the state consider mandating schooling from age 4 to age 16.

Noting that education is an integral part of society and that significant changes must evolve slowly, the task force declared that it was avoiding Band-aid solutions, but wanted instead to present a set of interrelated recommendations that would establish an agenda for educational change.

A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 1984 edition of Education Week as Colorado Panel Urges Reforms, End to Tenure


English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP