Colorado Concern 

February 23, 2015

Colorado Concern in the News


Tamra Ward

The level of discourse and debate around student testing and standards and assessments has been at a heightened level for many months - here in Colorado and across the country.  Last session the General Assembly passed legislation creating a Task Force focused on evaluating the types of tests, the curriculum areas measured and how often they are administered to ascertain if Colorado was testing too much, too little or just enough.  

From the business community's standpoint, to ensure accountability in our education system - and to provide parents, students and educators with sound information regarding our future workforce's knowledge base and skills at key points in time - four key points must be top of mind in this debate. Colorado's education system must:  

  • Maintain rigorous academic standards that are comparable across states (Ensure our academic approach is equal to, or more rigorous than, other states).
  • Make sure the state assessments accurately measure student academic growth (How do our students stack up, and are they progressing?).
  • Protect accountability structures for schools, districts and educators (Preserve strides made in education reform).
  • Ensure that the state assessments allow for comparison across schools districts and states (How are our schools compared with their peers in Colorado, and across the country?).

Certainly it is worthwhile to assess our system to ensure we are testing on the right academic topics at the appropriate time.  And perhaps the approach currently administered at schools across our state is deserving of change.  That said, stepping away from any kind of testing - or data collection that allows for the ability to compare how a student is doing with his or her peers - is detrimental in the long run.  In this global marketplace ensuring our kids are appropriately educated and competitive is the greatest gift we can give them, and our state as a whole.


To date more than 30 bills dealing with specific components of this topic have been introduced in the Colorado General Assembly.  Comprehensive legislation based on the work of the Task Force is expected in the coming month, and the business community believes a focused approach based on the work of that diverse group of stakeholders is a preferable path forward.  The guidelines noted above will be a screen utilized in review of that legislation.   


Simultaneously, the State Board of Education has been wrestling with these issues, and where their authority begins and ends around setting standards and providing opt-out opportunities for districts around student testing. The legality of recent actions by the Board has been questioned by the state's Attorney General, and questions regarding the impact of some decisions - such as allowing school districts to opt-out of nationally mandated tests - on federal education funding, have been raised.  The discussion and debate both on the legislative approach, and actions by the State Board, will continue to be an area to watch closely.  We will keep you up to speed on any important actions. 


Should you have questions about this topic, or any other public policy issue of interest, please do not hesitate to contact me at





Colorado Concern Legislative Tracking


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Click here download the Colorado Concern At a Glance Status Sheet for quick tracking of Colorado Concern's bills of interest.

Colorado Concern Upcoming Events

Below is information on upcoming Colorado Concern events.  

Click here for more information or to register to attend events.


Monday, March 9: Colorado Concern Annual Membership Luncheon Featuring Governor John Hickenlooper

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Carriage House at the Governor's Mansion, 400 E. 8th Avenue.

Thursday, April 7: Colorado Concern Membership Networking Lunch Co-Hosted by David McReynolds and Blair Richardson

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Colorado Concern, 140 East. 19th Avenue, Suite 400


Colorado Concern News Clips


Development/Real Estate

Colorado considers limit on open-space land seizures

The Denver Post: February 17


Construction bill would curb lawsuits

Colorado Statesman: February 17


Denver's $856M National Western funding plan relies on tax extensions

Denver Post: February 17


Defense, Plaintiffs Lawyers Split On Construction Defects Bill

Law Week Colorado: February 19



Growing efforts to help college students in country illegally

Denver Post: February 17


Sen. Nancy Todd: Partisan politics cheats Colorado kids out of scholarships

Aurora Sentinel: February 19


Denver Post: February 20



Legislative roundup: Handful of bills could head to Colorado governor's desk

Colorado Springs Gazette: February 17


UPDATE: Election Day photo ID requirements fail at state capitol

KRDO: February 18


As Voter ID Advances, Colorado Secretary of State Admits Voting Restrictions Block Eligible Voters

ThinkProgress: February 18


Ballot Countdown: Debates, forums, endorsements and a complaint for Colorado Springs election

Colorado Springs Gazette: February 19


Denver Business Journal: February 19


Colorado GOP legislators' dangerous game

The Denver Post: February 20


Legislative rural caucus kicks off 2015 with first meeting

The Colorado Statesman: February 20


GOP hits back against Democrats on public safety spending bill

The Denver Post: February 21



Editorial: Colorado Oil and Gas task force must find compromise on contentious drilling issues

Bakken: February 17


Colorado Farm Bureau talks oil and gas, water at legislative conference

Marcellus: February 17


Weld County agriculture and energy intersect in nuanced relationship

Denver Post: February 17


CPR: February 19


General Business

Credit card transaction bill aims to reduce fees for small businesses

Colorado Statesman: February 17


Colorado has more millionaires, but slips in the rich rankings

Denver Business Journal: February 17


Denver a top 10 city for IT job growth

Denver Business Journal: February 17


Health Care

Denver Business Journal: February 19


Denver Business Journal: February 19


Colorado in top 10 for well-being for 7th year

Denver Business Journal: February 19


Denver Post: February 20


Obamacare site a casualty of the Internet Age

The Colorado Statesman: February 20



Tax Payers to Colorado Lawmakers: 'Don't Bogart That Tax Revenue'

Forbes: February 17


Colorado gets extension in responding to marijuana legalization suit

Denver Post: February 17


Denver Business Journal: 17


Colo. pot users helping build schools with tax dollars

USA Today: February 18


In Denver, Legal Marijuana Spurs Entrepreneurialism -- and Gentrification

Confluence: February 18


Colorado residents suing to halt rec marijuana sales

The Cannabist: February 19


Denver Post: February 19


Colorado MMJ review bill gets initial Senate approval

The Cannabist: February 19



Denver airport ranked among world's worst for mass-transit access

Denver Post: February 17


CDOT seeks private partner to sink I-70 in north Denver, put a lid on it

Denver Business Journal: February 19


Denver Business Journal: February 20


Denver Business Journal: February 20


Denver Business Journal: February 20


Northeast Denver I-70 financing plan approved; transparency bill dies

The Denver Post: February 20


Colorado turns to toll roads to make up highway funding gap

Colorado Springs Gazette: February 22



Denver Post: February 20  
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