COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (KDVR) – Since its inception in 2009, the “state accountability clock” has been helping keep schools across Colorado on track, but now, control of a heavily populated educational district may be handed over to the State Board of Education as the result of a perceived drop in standards.

The board held a meeting Thursday to decide the status and the subsequent management plan for both Adams City High School and Adams 14 School District.

As a result of this meeting, the district must now prepare a detailed presentation that includes details on its proposal to hire a partial manager, which will be presented in the May meeting with the board. At the same time, they must also create an innovation plan specifically for Central Elementary School, which will be presented and reviewed during a separate meeting in June with the board.

Over the past decade, the district has jumped back and forth between “turnaround status” and “priority improvement status” on the state accountability clock, which was created with the passing of the Education Accountability Act in 2009. It’s based upon the premise that schools and districts that meet state expectations for student academic performance should hold increased autonomy.

Sitting on the other end of this accountability scale’s spectrum are schools that do not meet the state-outlined expectations, which the board affords an increase in support and monitoring to counter. Adams 14 has been on this accountability clock since 2010. According to the Accountability Acts texts, schools that are on this scale for just 5 years require board intervention.

According to an independently managed state review panel, the district is incapable of reversing the crisis they find themselves in, that is, at least on their own. In addition to this estimation, academic assessments of the district have achieved less than half of the state’s average assessment rate.

Since 2012, Central Elementary has received the state’s two lowest ratings on the School Performance Framework, despite the academic achievement improving since then. Due to this uptick, the school was nearly removed from the Accountability Clock.

Standing in opposition to a full takeover by the board are officials from the district, who have asked for a partial district and management design. They feel this would allow more local control and collaboration opportunities as opposed to what they previously experienced with a consultant group. 

According to Adams 14 officials, the graduation rate for Hispanic students in the district exceeds the state average.

Officials from the district said that their students are economically disadvantaged in relation to other districts, with over 50% of the student body learning English as a second language. Additionally, 85% of the student body is eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch.

You can view the press conference held by Adams 14 officials in its entirety on FOX31 NOW.