Nina Lopez testified for the defense. She works on educator effectiveness issues for The Colorado Legacy Foundation, which works on behalf of the Colorado Department of Education. Nina Lopez recently worked for CDE, also on educator effectiveness issues (Senate Bill 191).
- There is potential for an “incredibly positive transformation” of public education systethrough good implementation of S.B. 191.
- Successful implementation of S.B. 191 is “crucial” to improving education in Colorado.
- There is no money for school district implementation of S.B. 191 in fiscal note from the bill itself.
- “The expenses for changing the evaluation and review process will be paid from existing” school resources.
- S.B. 191 did not appropriate any money for school district implementation.
- The Colorado Legacy Foundation received a $9.7 million grant from Gates Foundation to accelerate implementation of S.B. 191.
- The Educator Effectiveness Council urged the state to provide guidance and “meaningful resources” for districts in order to make sure the new system works.
- The $6.5 million estimated cost of implementing S.B. 191 in Jeffco is reasonable.
- She couldn’t refute Commissioner Robert Hammond’s statewide estimated costs of $74 million implementation price tag.
- The implementation of S.B. 191 “fits hand in hand” with other statewide mandate—implementing new standards, new assessments and new accountability system.
- “They are inter-related and inter-dependent.”
Former Colorado Commissioner of Education William Moloney testified. He said:
- A high school diploma may be “meaningless.” It’s an arbitrary measure.
- The value of high school diplomas have been deflated by social promotion and grade inflation.
- Utah is the best model for doing better with less. Utah is similar to Colorado in many ways.
- He never went to Utah, never looked at data and “took the word”of reputable experts.
- No need to compare demographics between Colorado and Utah.
- Conceeded that Colorado outperforms Utah in fourth grade reading (NAEP), eighth grade science (NAEP), fourth grade math (NAEP) and eighth grade math (NAEP).
- Nonetheless, “no need” to produce NAEP data to prove Utah does better than Colorado.
- State of standardized testing is “disastrous.”
- He was commissioner who decided “partially proficient” would be definition for meeting Adequate Yearly Progress.
- Colorado built a powerful education reform program in 1999, but has now “unraveled.”
- The Colorado Growth Model is a “tragedy of good intentions.”
- The concept of postsecondary “readiness” is a buzz word.
- Teaching “critical thinking” as a standard “has paved the way to mediocrity.”
- “Our sins ever mount,” when asked if he knew the definition of postsecondary readiness had been adopted by state board of education and commission on higher education.
- He believes that Teach for America teachers outperform teachers trained in traditional settings, but cannot point to a study that proves it.
- He cannot point to any research that shows Catholic schools do better with minority students.
- Colorado “gamed” its results on NAEP…combined partially proficient and proficient to define AYP.
- “Every state in the union” lowered its cut score to “look good” on AYP.
- He was unaware KIPP requires $1,600 more in expenses per pupil than they receive from public funds.
- Second grade class sizes in Europe and Asia are double U.S. “and they do quite well.”
- State legislature should suspend CAP4K (Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids) and accountability laws.
- Every child has the ability to succeed in the classroom.
- Dollars do make a difference “to some extent, yes.”
Angelika Shroeder—CO State Ed board member, witness for the State
- Supported S.B. 191