COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Adams 14 School District has lost its state accreditation after failing to confirm it’s still working with a board-ordered external manager to improve academic performance.
The state board of education in 2018 ordered the district to work with an external manager “in an effort to produce dramatic academic improvement,” the CDE said in a news release. Adams 14 quit working with the external management partner, MGT, back in August, and failed to abide by an Oct. 1 deadline to reaffirm their work together.
“Over the last two years, the graduation has increased, the drop out rate has decreased, we settled a federal complaint that had been lingering for almost 11 years, thats the progress we want to continue,” MGT Executive Vice President Eric Parish said. “We’ve been through this two months of chaos, which is unfortunate. It stopped our progress and momentum. We want to rebuild that momentum and get back to the work we were doing.”
At Adams City High School, the main high school in Adams 14, the graduation rate rose from 74.9% to 78.9% from 2019 to 2020.
The state board voted Monday that Adams 14 could get its accreditation restored by Thursday if it signs a joint statement “to confirm MGT’s authority and access had been restored and that turnaround work had been restarted.”
“We are determined and adamant that the children and families and educators of Adams 14 always have our steadfast focus, regardless of whatever may be happening behind the scenes of the adults,” Adams 14’s Executive Director of Communications Robert Lundein said. “We do not anticipate any disruption to any of our school statuses and we will continue to work in partnership with external management companies.”
The CDE said that losing accreditation should not affect learning.
“The doors will still be open, funding continues, and students, teachers and families should continue to go to school and focus on their studies,” Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes said in the release. “This is effectively asking adults to work together, and do it right now.”
As of 2016:
- 90% of the district’s students identified as a racial or ethnic minority, compared to 45% statewide;
- 85% qualified for free or reduced-price lunch, compared to 42% statewide;
- 53% of students were English learners, compared to 17% statewide;
- 8.2% of students dropped out, more than triple the statewide rate of 2.3%.
Colorado’s state board accredits the state’s K-12 public schools and districts, ensuring they meet the requirements of the Education Accountability Act of 2009, according to the CDE.
Adams 14 serves about 7,500 students just north of Denver and has a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students and students learning English, according to the state’s original order.