Problems in Education
Read about some challenges to Colorado's Education system from CPR
Advantages to Colorado Education
Read about some Pros to education in Colorado from the Denver Post
Colorado earned an overall grade of C, coming in at 35th, behind the U.S. average, on six key education indicators in Education Week’s annual state rankings.
The state’s highest mark, a B, came in the area of Chance for Success, meaning educational indicators across a lifetime. Colorado earned points for its relatively higher numbers of affluent and well-educated parents, its performance on a national fourth-grade reading test and the percentage of adults with two and four-year degrees.
The only other better-than-average grade, a B-, came in the area of standards, assessment and accountability, where Colorado’s system of school accountability achieved a perfect 100. But it flunked the standards portion of the category, because the state’s standards are not course or grade-specific.
Colorado’s lowest mark came in the area of its commitment to the teaching profession, where the state achieved a D, ranking 42nd out of the 50 states.
In particular, the state was dinged because it doesn’t fund induction, mentoring or reduced workloads for new teachers and it doesn’t allow pension portability across state lines.
Also, the state doesn’t require substantial coursework in the subject taught and it doesn’t provide incentives for teachers in targeted schools, such as those with high levels of poverty. Some districts, such as Denver, offer these types of incentives but it’s not required by the state.
Perhaps most interestingly, Colorado’s teacher pay was found lacking and not at least equal to comparable professions. EdWeek found public school teachers nationwide make 94 cents for every dollar earned by workers in 16 occupations such as accountants and nurses.
Only 13 states met or surpassed the pay-parity line, meaning they earn at least as much as workers in those comparable fields.
Colorado scored almost as poorly in the area of school finance, where it achieved a C-. The state did well on how its education funding is distributed, or equity, but flunked the adequacy of its spending. This may not surprise those who followed the recent Lobato school funding case, which dealt with the adequacy issue.
In the two other areas – K-12 achievement and transitions from preschool through workforce – the state earned solid C’s.
Which states did the best? Maryland, with a B+, was the overall winner for the fourth year in a row, followed closely by Massachusetts, New York and Virginia, all with B’s. The U.S. as a whole earned a C, and 41 states achieved grades between a C- and a C+, according to the report.