State board of education restores accreditation to Adams 14 School District

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The state board of education had some good news for the Adams 14 School District Sept. 14.

It restored the district's accreditation during the board's meeting in Colorado Springs. The vote was 6-1, according to a district press release.

The board made its decision after hearing the district was facing increasing challenges because of confusion over what the loss of accreditation met, according to a statement.

Education commissioner Kathy Anthes recommended restoration. District officials told the board they were having trouble hiring international bilingual teachers because of confusion over what the loss of accreditation means.

“Many people don’t know what accreditation means, and likewise they don’t know what the loss of accreditation means,” Anthes said in a statement. “The district and the local board have a long road ahead to successfully implement their improvement plan. As they work with their partial manager and their community to consider reorganization or other creative solutions, I do not want any unintended consequences from the loss of accreditation to make that road any bumpier than it needs to be.” 

Education Commissioner Katy Anthes recommended the board restore the district’s accreditation after hearing about the challenges the loss of accreditation appeared to be creating for the district. The district reported difficulty hiring international bilingual teachers because of confusion over what loss of accreditation means.

Board chairwoman Angelika Schroeder said that removing accreditation was intended to highlight the board’s serious concerns about the district’s capacity to build sustainable improvements in student outcomes. 

“It was never the board’s intention to make the district’s job of recruiting teachers and educating students more difficult,” Schroeder said in the statement. “The state board has decided to restore accreditation to help Adams 14 move forward and to encourage the district and the local board to continue working with the state board and CDE staff on improvement. But we still believe the community-driven process for considering reorganization must continue.”

Superintendent Karla Loria called the decision "a great move for our students and our community."

Adams 14 chief legal counsel Joe Salazar said despite the decision, the state board will continue to pursue reorganization of the district.

"Little by little, the state board is understanding that its heavy-handed order has had unintended consequences on the children of Adams 14," he said in the district statement. "We are pleased with this recent development, and we hope this further builds on a more positive relationship between the state board and Adams 14. We will oppose any efforts to reorganize the district because we know it will only harm the community."

Adams 14 has earned the lowest ratings in the state's accountability system for more than 10 years, according to a state board of education statement. The state's accountability act requires the state board to direct action to improve student performance after five years of low performance. The board removed the district's accreditation in May, approved the district's partial manager and directed consideration of reorganization through a community process.

Adams 14 School District, Karla Loria, Colorado Board of Education, Adams 14 reaccreditation

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