This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More at chalkbeat.org.
Colorado will stick to an August deadline for elementary school teachers to complete mandatory training on how to teach reading, despite concerns from some school district leaders about onerous reporting requirements.
Most State Board of Education members agreed Wednesday that districts should be able to handle the work before the deadline. Districts that fail to do so — except in rare cases where emergencies or unforeseen circumstances prevent teachers from completing training on time — could risk losing their annual allocation of public funds for teaching struggling readers.
The board hasn’t voted on the issue, but its direction to state education leaders aligns with its stance in recent years to firmly maintain efforts to improve dismal third-grade literacy scores. state year. The teacher training requirement stems from a 2019 law and is seen as a key lever for changing the way early reading instruction is delivered from kindergarten to grade three.
About 23,000 elementary school teachers must complete the 45-hour teacher training, either by taking a free online course or taking other state-approved options. So far, more than 20,000 teachers have registered for the free course and 7,500 have completed it. Another 1,000 teachers enrolled in other approved options and almost 700 completed them.
A number of Colorado superintendents, as well as groups representing district leaders and school boards, have recently raised concerns about data collected on K-3 teacher education as well as a topic separate, graduation guidelines.
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