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ERIC Number: ED538957
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
High School Reform in Colorado: Meeting the Expectations of a New Era. Final Report of the Colorado Commission for High School Improvement
Colorado Children's Campaign
The "comprehensive" high schools that now educate almost all young people in Colorado and elsewhere in the United States were designed in a different era for a different economy. American comprehensive high schools were intended to provide a basic education in reading, writing, and arithmetic, preparing most students for work and some for college. These high schools were the workhorses of the democracy and economy throughout much of the 20th century. In the global economy, however, this traditional design allows too many students to drop out or simply "get by" and enter adulthood without the skills needed to thrive. Over time, the expectations placed on high schools have increased and schools have improved. The people in high schools are working harder than ever before. But the improvement has not kept pace with the challenge. Today, Colorado's citizens, government and businesses expect much more from high schools. A growing body of research about Colorado high school students has shown: (1) Graduation rates are extremely low (70 percent); (2) Graduation rates among minority students are dismal (56 percent for blacks and 44 percent for Hispanics); (3) Students score poorly on state assessments; (4) There are huge gaps in achievement when students are compared by race and ethnicity; (5) Graduates, especially those from low-income families, are poorly prepared for higher education; and (6) Many of those who enter college do not complete their college education. Commission members developed four recommendations that are intended to raise student performance, close achievement gaps and ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed. The Commission recommends that schools and school systems: (1) Improve the teaching and learning process in high schools; (2) Improve student transition to and from high school; (3) Expand school choice and alternatives; and (4) Use existing and new resources and data more effectively. (Contains 4 figures and 45 endnotes.)
Colorado Children's Campaign. 1580 Lincoln Street Suite 420, Denver, CO 80203. Tel: 303-839-1580; Fax: 303-839-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Community; Parents; Students; Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Colorado Children's Campaign
Identifiers - Location: Colorado