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Forum: These Numbers Don't Lie

The Numbers Behind the Numbers in CO's K-12 Accountability Platform

Presented by Paula Noonan, Ph.D., and Cesar Rivera, DPS Principal 

Sunday, February 4, 2024, 1-3 p.m.

The time has arrived for change. The state's K-12 accountability system hasn't performed as its yea-sayers promised. Its failures are perfectly predictable: One-shot standardized tests do not tell the full story of how Colorado's schools cope with underfunding, over-testing, and disrespecting a foundation of the nation's democracy.

Paula Noonan, Ph.D., studied two years of K-12 performance data from 2022 and 2023 to discover underlying factors affecting standardized test results and overall performance ratings of 111 K-12 school districts that have reported to the Colorado Department of Education. Her analysis reveals shocking test participation rates, outrageous school funding policies, and demographic realities that prove the toxicity of current assessment methods to students, parents, teachers, schools, and districts. Noonan was 1st Vice President of the Jefferson County School Board and owns, a legislature tracking service.

Cesar Rivera is principal of Samuels Elementary, a STEAM school in southeast Denver. STEAM covers science, technology, engineering, art, and math.  Samuels Elementary has over 400 students with 83% on FRL, 87% minority, and 49% ELL. Rivera's students, many of whom are bilingual, reflect the diversity of Denver Public Schools. His school offers robust English Language Learning programs and combines social, emotional, and academic learning in all aspects of instruction and play. Rivera lives his commitment to evaluating students fairly, honestly, and accurately every day to enable all children to learn and live to their potential.

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