Colorado: Ritter signs education reform |

Colorado: Ritter signs education reform

Steven K. Paulson
Associated Press
Vail, CO Colorado

ARVADA, Colorado ” Gov. Bill Ritter signed a landmark education bill designed to streamline Colorado public school curriculum and better prepare children for graduation on Wednesday, telling Arvada High School students it’s no longer “business as usual.”

Ritter said the bipartisan Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids will require major changes in the way students are taught and the way they learn by completely reorganizing content and assessment standards in public schools.

He planned to sign a bill later in the day that eliminates a waiting list for preschool programs for at risk children and expand full-day kindergarten for 22,000 children over five years.

Ritter told the students that too many of their peers fail to graduate and the state needs to take a bigger role in education.

“We rank 45th in the country for the percentage of native-born residents who earn college degrees. And as a nation, we are one of just two industrialized countries in the world whose college-completion rate is actually declining. We can do better. We must do better. And with these bills, we will do better,” Ritter said.

Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, said the bills signify major changes for public education from preschool through college.

“This can truly be the blueprint for a revolution,” he said.

Michelle Trujillo, who had children in schools in Denver, Adams and now Jefferson counties, said her children are doing better in Jefferson County with progressive curriculum than they did in other counties. She said education levels should be the same, no matter where parents live.

“I think setting standards is the best way to go. There shouldn’t be any difference,” she said.

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