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The Colorado Academic Standards

In 2009, educators, experts, and parents in Colorado came together to develop higher learning standards for students, called the Colorado Academic Standards. Why? The previous standards hadn’t been updated in nearly 20 years and weren’t built to prepare students for college or career. Around 40% of Colorado’s high school seniors require costly remedial classes when they get to college, which means they aren’t getting what they need in high school. And 80% of jobs in our state require post-secondary education or training, but less than half of Colorado students hold a college degree.

Students needed a more rigorous set of expectations that would teach them how to think in a more in-depth way and apply conceptual knowledge instead of just memorizing facts. The Colorado Academic Standards will do just that. They cover ten academic content areas (see a handy graphic below), outlining what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. You might have heard of the Common Core – the Colorado Academic Standards incorporate those deeper learning expectations in math and English – and raise the bar for student success. The best part? Teachers across our state are already seeing the benefit of incorporating these higher expectations into their classrooms.

The Colorado Academic Standards will ensure that Colorado students graduate high school with 21st century skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. But they’ll also give parents, colleges, and businesses peace of mind in knowing that a student who holds a degree from a Colorado high school will have the skills they need to excel in college or career.

Learn what these standards mean for you and your child.

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