Friday, March 28, 2008

CAP4K Clears First Hurdle

Gov. Bill Ritter's far-reaching proposal to re-structure the state's public education system won approval from a Senate committee Thursday, clearing its first hurdle on the way to the lawbooks.

SB 212, which incorporates the governor's "Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K)", was approved by the Senate Education Committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

CAP4K, which Ritter introduced at a press conference last month,has four principal elements:

1. The state Board of Education and Colorado Commission on Higher Education would be required to establish definitions of school readiness and college and workforce readiness.
2. The state's Model Content Standards that guide the high school curriculum would be expanded and improved. They would apply to all grades from pre-school to the first year of college (standards currently only exist for grades 3 through 10) and align those standards with the content and skills needed for success after high school.
3. The school readiness assessment program would be based on a goal of assuring that all students who graduate from high school are ready for college and/or the workforce.
4. Post-secondary institution admission policies would be modified to allow students to earn credit by proving their proficiency in a particular subject as opposed to limiting the circumstances under which knowledge can be assumed to a student's completion of a course.

Among the means used to assess student proficiency would be a series of subject-based examinations that would replace the CSAP tests.

SB 212 now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill's bipartisan prime sponsors include Reps. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon, and Rob Witwer, R-Genesee, and Sens. Chris Romer, D-Denver, and Josh Penry, R-Fruita.