Our Focus

SETTING HIGHER EXPECTATIONS

The Colorado Academic Standards, which include the Common Core Standards, describe what students need to learn by the end of a school year. These help ensure that all students, no matter where they live, have an opportunity to achieve success after school.

By reaching for and exceeding Colorado’s high academic standards, our youth will develop the resiliency and skills to excel in college and become top performers in any profession.

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PUTTING KIDS FIRST


By 2020, 74% of Colorado jobs will require some post-secondary education. Currently, only 22 of every 100 high school students end up with that credential. As a result, Colorado schools currently are producing less than half of the workers needed to fill the top 30 occupations with the largest projected openings.

Strong academic preparation will give our children the skills and confidence they need to achieve their dreams.

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READYING OUR KIDS FOR COLORADO’S JOBS

Colorado’s economy is rising to meet the needs of the 21st century but the state’s employers don’t have enough skilled candidates so they increasingly import workers from other states and countries.

With the higher expectations set by Colorado’s new academic standards, which include the Common Core Standards, our students will keep pace with the constant change in our communities, our business climate, and our world.

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The latest news from Future Forward Colorado

A Colorado Teacher Shares His View on High Standards

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“It’s really important to have high standards for all students across the board, to truly prepare them for the workplace and for higher levels of education.” — Matthew Johnson, Denver 4th grade teacher

Colorado Educators Discuss the Importance of High Standards

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In this video from America Achieves, Colorado educators discuss the importance of high standards.

Common Core in the Classroom: One Teacher’s Approach

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Curious to see the Common Core in action? This video shows how one second-grade class is using the standards to develop a deeper understanding of the Pledge of Allegiance.

PARCC: What’s it all about?

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This video explains how the PARCC test works, which is known as CMAS in Colorado.

What does “quality assessment” mean?

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The business community talks a lot about the importance of a “quality assessment.” Wondering what that means? Here are the pieces of a quality assessment.

What is a quality assessment?

A Leap Toward Postsecondary Success

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by Paul Lingenfelter

Paul E. Lingenfelter is president emeritus of the State Higher Education Executive Officers association. He is now on the board of PARCC, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Earlier this month, higher education leaders in Colorado took a significant step to close the persistent gap between the number of students who enroll in college and the number who graduate.

Officials at the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) on March 8 announced that Adams State University and Aims Community College will begin using PARCC, the state’s K-12 assessment of college and career readiness, to determine whether entering college freshman are prepared to take college level courses.

This makes Adams State and Aims the first colleges in the state and the nation to agree to use or validate PARCC as a college readiness assessment to determine which students need remediation.

Why is this progress? PARCC assessments, administered through high school and aligned with the requirements for success in college, provide feedback to students long before high school graduation. High school students and their teachers will know well in advance whether they are prepared or on track to being prepared for college-credit bearing courses. more

Parents, Don’t Opt Out of Transparency in Our Schools

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Pamela Nortonby Pamela Norton

Denver resident Pamela Norton is the founder and president of Activate, mother of two, and has many friends with children across the Colorado school system.

Parents, teachers, and the larger community in Colorado are frustrated with the amount of testing in our schools. Unfortunately, to demonstrate this concern, some parents are threatening to pull students out of the statewide PARCC test. This dissenting voice should be heard, but the tactic of opting-out doesn’t solve the problem of over-testing. Instead, it reduces transparency.

I am a parent of two children, who were students at what I thought were high performing public schools. However, after my oldest graduated, I was shocked to learn that she didn’t have many of the skills needed to succeed in college. Since then, I also realized my son is behind in high school. How could a school be labeled as an A+ school yet still have 40 percent of its students needing some sort of remedial education? That doesn’t sound like an A+ to me. more

Keep Calm & Stay Strong, Colorado

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Future Forward’s newest infographic tells how our country’s standards haven’t been up to par for decades — and how the Colorado Academic Standards and the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS/PARCC) fix that.

Are Colorado's students prepared to compete?

Do you believe in Colorado’s standards and assessments? Share out this icon on social media:

CMAS_Stay Strong Graphic