GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Thirty-three of District 51's 43 schools were top rated in academic performance, in the state's new assessment system. In fact, two–thirds of Colorado schools earned the "performance" level, or the best rank. Schools are categorized by the type of plan they need to submit for academic improvement. The highest category is "performance." That means the school must outline a plan in how they'll continue their high achievement. The remaining ranks are improvement, priority improvement, and turnaround, the lowest classification. The new accountability system streamlines the data schools report, making it easier to evaluate and compare districts.
District 51 officials say Mesa County is at the forefront of the new system.
"Districts across the state have a few years to implement this. We made the decision to do this now. As a result of that, the state is actually using our reporting, and our reports, as a model for the rest of the state," says District 51 spokesman Jeff Kirtland.
Schools given low marks were Rim Rock Elementary in Fruita, Chatfield Elementary in Clifton, and R–5 High School in Grand Junction. District 51 officials say the state's new measures now includes federal standards, which Mesa County's low performing schools are trying to match as well.