Think you know what kids need to be prepared for college? The state thinks you do, so speak up.

Nobody knows your child better than you, so doesn’t it make sense that you should have some say in what they’re being taught in school? Yes? Well you’re in luck. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) wants to hear from you.

So, tell the state what you think about the proposed revisions to our academic standards. The revisions aim to set your child up for success by clearly naming what he or she should be able to do at the end of every grade, through graduation and most importantly, into college.

What it really boils down to is this: does your child know what he or she needs to know to be successful in college? Sadly, for more and more kids in Colorado, the answer is no. In 2016, thirty-six percent of Colorado kids who walked across the graduation stage stepped onto a college campus already behind. Getting caught up forces students to spend extra time in remedial classes and extra money (a whopping $37.5 million a year) paying for tuition!

This doesn’t have to be the reality for your child.

The state’s proposed revisions to our academic standards aim to make sure your child is more prepared. But when it comes to your child’s future success, you also have a lot to offer. Sharing your thoughts is easy, with these three steps.

Step 1 – Understand what kids are expected to know in key class subjects
Colorado has recommended academic standards in a variety of subjects from preschool through twelfth grade: visual and performing arts, health, physical education, mathematics, reading, writing, and communicating, science, social studies, and world languages.

Pick a subject that is most important to you and see what the state believes kids should know in that subject at any grade. Did the state nail it? Does something seem too easy or too hard? Is something missing? Ask yourself these questions as you review each subject’s standard.

Step 2 – See what “people” skills kids need to thrive in school and throughout life
As important as academic skills are, don’t you also want to know that your child is growing into a well-rounded, contributing member of the community? In addition to measuring kids’ knowledge in key class subjects, Colorado wants all kids to have “Essential Skills” that build good character, communication and even leadership abilities. The Essential Skills Feedback Survey, gives you a chance to give your opinion on what matters most. Every day you’re shaping your child into the person you want them to be. Tell the state how your child’s school can help!

Step 3 – Choose what standards to review and how to share your thoughts

Decide what matters most to you between the subject-based standards and the essential skills and tell the state what you think in one of two ways.

  • Take an online survey
    The online survey makes it easy for parents to pick a specific subject area and grade to share their thoughts. You’ll simply answer a series of questions about how much you agree or disagree with what the state thinks kids should know about a certain subject based on their grade level. You’ll also get a chance to provide general comments. This video tutorial shows how easy it is to take the survey on academic standards.
    You can take a similar survey to comment about the Essential Skills here.
  • Email the Colorado Department of Education
    If those two surveys don’t give you the kind of flexibility you’re looking for to express your thoughts, just email the state at [email protected]. Tell them how they can do a better job of keeping you informed. Help the them understand what else they should do to make sure you as a parent feel confident about what the standards are, what they require kids to learn and why they’re important. If you’re still not sure what to tell them, consider sending them answers to these questions:
    • Do you know and understand what the Colorado Academic Standards are and why they’re important?
    • How easy was it for you to learn about the standards?
    • What skills do you think are important for students to have when they graduate?
    • Do you feel the standards and essential skills are things you hope your child can demonstrate as they grow up?
    • What else would you like to see the department offer to help parents support their kids in their education?

That’s it! You can share your thoughts on as many subjects and as many skills as you want. And again, if you just wish the state would make it easier for you to share your thoughts, send them an email. This is your chance to have a say in your child’s education. Your voice matters, so use it!

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