Archive for the ‘News Articles’ Category

State Board Hears Findings on State Assessment Study

May 21, 2014 Comments off



News Release
State board hears initial assessment study findings

Direction 38! has attached a highlight of the study findings and provided a link to take you to the full CDE release.

We have also posted the following questions about the CDE Study.

  •  Did your local school board participate in this study to examine the issues and concerns with the new state assessment system?
  •  Were parents asked their opinions?
  •  Were teachers asked their opinions?

Here is the CDE News Release:

Colorado Department of Education201 E. Colfax Ave.Denver, CO 80203Phone: 303-866-4247
May 16, 2014 For more information, contact:  CDE Communications Division, 303-866-4247

News Release

State board hears initial assessment study findings  
The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on May 14 & 15. Highlights from the meeting include:The board heard findings from the first phase of a study commissioned to examine issues and concerns associated with implementation of the new state assessment system.  CDE turned to its Regional Comprehensive Center, WestEd, a non-profit education research agency, to research the state’s assessment requirements, gather data from districts, parents, teachers and charter schools, synthesize the findings and present a range of options to address those findings. The study was performed at no cost to CDE or the state. 

Researchers from WestEd will be in Denver to share the presentation that was provided to the board onWednesday, May 21 from 2-3:30 p.m. at CDE, 201 E. Colfax Ave., State Board Room, in Denver. Following the presentation, the researchers and CDE staff will be available to the media to answer questions.


State Assessment Update

Staff provided an update on the first online state assessment administration which took place April 14-May 2 in social studies and science.  Staff shared information from the field tests of the English language arts and math assessments and discussed next steps in preparing for 2014-15 administration. To view the presentation, clickhere.

To Read More: Read more…



May 16, 2014 1 comment





QUESTION #2: What are the Common Core test requirements for home schooled children?



Home schooled students are required to take a nationally standardized test. However, if a parent or legal guardian requests it, a district shall permit a home schooled student to take the state assessment and provide the results of the assessment to the parent or legal guardian. The test is given only to home schooled students whose parents request that the child participate in the testing. (22-7-409 (III)(1.3)(b), C.R.S.)

– See more at:
NOTE: Accuracy reviewed & verified by Joyce Zurkowski/Assessment Unit Supervisor/Colorado Department of Education



QUESTION #3: How do Common Core tests accommodate special needs students?



State and federal law require all students to be held to the same standards and participate in the state assessment program.

There are three ways that students with disabilities can participate in the state assessments:

1) take the general assessment without accommodations;

2) take the general assessment with accommodations; and

3) take the alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

What are accommodations and what are some examples?

Accommodations are changes in how the test is given without changing what is being assessed.Students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 plan or English Learn (EL) plan, can use specific accommodations allowing the student better access to the test as long as there’s alignment between the accommodation and the student’s educational plan. That plan may also indicate the student is eligible to participate in Colorado’s alternative tests in science and social studies. Accommodations can be divided into four categories:

1. Presentation accommodations – changes in the way test items are presented to a student (i.e., large print, braille, oral presentation, translated oral presentation, etc.);
2. Response accommodations – changes in the way a student responds to test items (i.e., uses scribe, responds in Spanish, uses assistive technology device, etc.);
3. Setting accommodations – changes in the test environment’s setting (i.e., small group or individual administration); and/or
4. Timing accommodations – changes in the scheduling of the assessment (i.e., allowing multiple breaks, providing extra time, testing at specific times of the day, etc.).

The CMAS: Science and Social Studies assessment administration time includes an extended time allotment of time-and-a-half for all students. Students who have an extended time need beyond time-and-a-half documented in an approved IEP, 504, or EL plan my be provided with additional time..

What is the CoAlt?
A small number of students, approximately one percent of the student population, take the Colorado Alternate (CoAlt) assessment. These are students who have significant cognitive disabilities. Special accommodations are built into the CoAlt specifically for these students.

NOTE: Accuracy reviewed & verified by Joyce Zurkowski/Assessment Unit Supervisor/Colorado Department of Education

COMMON CORE: A Community Roundtable Discussion

May 3, 2014 Comments off


A Community Roundtable Discussion





Monday, 5 May, 2014: 6-8 P.M.

Antelope Trails Elementary School Cafeteria, 15280 Jessie Dr, Colorado Springs 80921.

All are welcome! Please join us for this important community discussion!

Discussion will be led by Mark Hyatt, Former Director, Charter School Institute.

See the attached flyer for more information.



Direction 38! Press Release Nov 11

November 12, 2013 Comments off

November 11, 2013                                  PRESS RELEASE Direction38


                      Media Contact:  Jody Richardson

            719 439 3328

Local Citizens’ Group Helps Defeat 3A Mill Levy Override,

DIRECTION 38! Seeks to Expand Community Initiatives


Monument, CO– Lewis-Palmer DIRECTION 38!, a non-partisan group of Tri-Lakes citizens, helped mobilize 75% of area voters to defeat School District 38’s proposed $4.5 million Mill Levy Override.  A record 60% of area voters (13,211) gave voice to their concerns in this off-year election. Given the election’s mandate, DIRECTION 38! is launching new initiatives for more balanced representation within the district.

“Three themes surfaced as we spoke to thousands of area voters about the unpopular MLO ballot measure,” said DIRECTION 38! President Ana Konduris, “Trust, Taxes, and Turnout.” Konduris explains that the well-informed Tri-Lakes voters turned out en masse because they clearly understood D-38 fiscal practices precipitating the proposed 20% school property tax hike.  They understood the consequences of Amendment 66’s tiered personal income tax.  They rejected both. “Many citizens told us that their persistent concerns about D-38 leadership were given fresh fuel with 3A,” added Konduris.

DIRECTION 38! was founded in 2009 to ensure broader community representation within Lewis-Palmer school district.  “We remain committed to D-38 continuing its longstanding tradition of excellence” says DIRECTION 38!’s Secretary and Public Information Officer Jody Richardson.  “We want community collaboration and we seek transparency and accountability from D-38 leaders.”

“We are attracting many new participants and will launch more initiatives to ensure residents, businesses, taxpayers, and especially our students are fairly represented in D-38 governance and fiscal policy decisions,” said Konduris.  She welcomes Tri-Lakes voters to get more information at the DIRECTION 38! website,

DIRECTION 38! is a grassroots organization of concerned parents, teachers, and other members of the Tri-Lakes community. Its mission is to provide a balance of information and discussion regarding current educational issues affecting our local area and state. It is a not-for-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)4.

Categories: News Articles

El Paso County Final Unofficial Election Results

November 7, 2013 Comments off

 Direction38  Election Summary Report 2013 El Paso County Coordinated Election Summary for Jurisdiction Wide, All Counties, All Races

*****Final Unofficial Results*****

Here is a direct link to El Paso County Clerk’s Unofficial Election Results.  We congratulate John Magerko for his election to the District 38 School Board and we congratulate the 13238 citizens who fulfilled their civic duty by participating in the D38 Mill Levy Override vote.

El Paso County Final Unofficial Results


November 7, 2013 Comments off


Colorado Department of Education

201 E. Colfax Ave.

Denver, CO 80203

Phone: 303-866-4247

News Release
Fourth- graders show improvement in math and reading achievement on The Nation’s Report Card; eighth-grade scores remain flatColorado’s fourth-graders improved their performance in math and reading according to the latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. Eighth-grade student scores in math and reading were not significantly different than the 2011 scores.In 2013, the average math score for fourth-grade students in Colorado was 247 (out of 500). This was higher than that of the nation’s public schools (241). The average math score for eighth-grade students in Colorado was 290. This was also higher than that of the nation’s public schools (286).In 2013, the average reading score for fourth-grade students in Colorado was 227. This was higher than that of the nation’s public schools (221). The average reading score for eighth-grade students in Colorado was 271. This was also higher than that of the nation’s public schools (266).



October 31, 2013 Comments off


The 30 October 2013 print edition of the Trilakes Tribune has an interview by Rob Carrigan of the Tribune, with Direction 38! members.  This front page interview can be seen by clicking on the link below.

Opponents of Measure 3A, the mill levy override for Lewis-Palmer School District 38 funding on the November ballot, say the district is asking for “way too much” and that there are “no controls.”

The following “Letters to the Editor” were also in the 30 October Edition of the Tribune.

Teacher1Mr. Kevin Reece of Monument  says :  “Now is Not the Time” for 3A! As residents of Monument, Colorado with a child in School District 38, my wife and I do have “skin in the game” regarding the upcoming 3A issue being voted on come 5 Nov 2013. We have considered the pros and cons of the proposals (including the 66th Amendment). We have seen little collaboration and intentional involvement with the community including residents, school teachers and businesses leading up to this November vote; therefore; we have decided now is NOT the time for 3A, and the additional tax burdens the community as a whole will experience.”

For the rest of this article click here: Kevin Reece Editorial

FACTS%20LogoIn another editorial, Laura McGuire writes:

I’ve become increasingly alarmed with Ballot Initiative 3A as I’ve researched how to vote on the Lewis Palmer School District 38 massive $4.5 million Mill Levy Override.  3A, if passed, will take Tri-Lakes property owners from the 9th highest taxed school district in Colorado to the 3rd out 178 districts! This is a 20% increase in the taxes paid to D38! 3A also imposes additional onerous taxes on local businesses already burdened by the struggling economy.  I grew up in Monument and graduated from Lewis Palmer High School as have my own children. We’ve benefited from a District that has long been “Accredited with Distinction,” the highest rating given to Colorado public schools. 3A proponents are using emotion-filled messages to imply that our kids will suffer unduly if they don’t secure this hefty MLO.

For the rest of Laura’s letter to the Tribune, click here:   McGuire’s Letter