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Colorado Board of Education restores Adams 14 accreditation

The Colorado Board of Education said accreditation was restored due to confusion that made it more difficult for Adams 14 to hire teachers.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo — The Colorado Board of Education said Wednesday it voted to restore accreditation to the Adams 14 School District due to confusion that has led to difficulty hiring teachers.

The state removed Adams 14's accreditation in May after the district recorded the lowest ratings in the accountability system for more than 10 years.

The move to restore accreditation came after the district reported difficulty hiring international bilingual teachers because of confusion over what accreditation means.

Angelika Schroeder, chairwoman of the Board of Education, said removing accreditation was meant to highlight the board's serious concerns about the school district's capacity to build sustainable improvements in student outcomes.

“It was never the board’s intention to make the district’s job of recruiting teachers and educating students more difficult,” Schroeder said. “The state board has decided to restore accreditation at this time to help Adams 14 move forward and to encourage the district and the local board to continue working with the state board and CDE staff on improvement, but we still believe the community-driven process for considering reorganization must continue.”

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State Education Commissioner Katy Anthes said she didn't want "unintended consequences" in recruiting teachers to be an obstacle in the improvement of schools.

“Many people don’t know what accreditation means, and likewise they don’t know what the loss of accreditation means,” Anthes said. “The district and the local board have a long road ahead to successfully implement their improvement plan. As they work with their partial manager and their community to consider reorganization or other creative solutions, I do not want any unintended consequences from the loss of accreditation to make that road any bumpier than it needs to be.”

“Commissioner Anthes reached out and we discussed her intention to recommend to the state board the reinstatement of our accreditation due to the negative impact it has on our students’ learning and our ability to recruit teachers," said Dr. Karla Loria, superintendent of Adams 14. "This is a great move for our students and our community."

The district is still being considered for reorganization, with the possibility of neighboring districts taking over Adams 14 schools. Joe Salazar, chief legal counsel for Adams 14, said the school district still opposes reorganization efforts.

“Little by little, the state board is understanding that its heavy-handed order has had unintended consequences on the children of Adams 14. We are pleased with this recent development, and we hope this further builds on a more positive relationship between the state board and Adams 14.” Salazar said. “Alongside other Adams County school districts, we will oppose any efforts to reorganize the district because we know it will only harm the community."

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