Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Mark Salley 303-866-6323
(DENVER) - Governor Bill Owens today announced a major review of Colorado's high school and college academic standards. The review will examine statewide expectations of high school graduation requirements and review if high schools and colleges prepare students with the skills employers expect.
"Too many students leave high school unprepared for college, and too many students leave college unprepared for the workforce," said Governor Owens. "Both K-12 and higher education systems have tried to independently tackle these challenges in recent years, but to truly boost student achievement they must work together and in collaboration with the business community."
In order to undertake this effort, Governor Owens signed an Executive Order creating the Colorado Education Alignment Council. The Council will have members from across the state representing the K-20 system (higher education, K-12) and the business community. Council co-chairs are: William J. Moloney, Commissioner, Colorado Department of Education; Rick O'Donnell, Executive Director, Colorado Commission on Higher Education; and, Nancy Tuor, President and CEO, the Kaiser-Hill Company.
"A majority of Colorado's students are leaving high school unprepared for the challenges of either college or the workplace," said O'Donnell. "Colorado's continued economic vitality depends on graduates having the literacy, mathematics, science and history skills needed to compete in today's global economy."
According to data produced by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, many students leaving Colorado high schools do not meet basic standards for success. In the Denver Public Schools, Colorado's second largest school district, and in Jefferson County, the state's largest suburban school district, 48 percent and 39 percent respectively, of high school graduates attending Colorado public higher education required remediation in basic skills.
"Employers are frustrated that too many new hires from both college and high school cannot meet even basic expectations," said Tuor. "The Council will focus on ensuring that both high school and college students are prepared to enter and succeed in the workforce or the post secondary system."
The main objectives of the Council include:
The Council is expected to make its recommendations by the fall of 2006. Council members appointed by the Governor are:
Rick O'Donnell, Executive Director, Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Lakewood
William J. Moloney, Colorado Commissioner of Education, Colorado Department of Education, Denver
Nancy Tour, President and CEO, Kaiser – Hill LLC, Littleton
Dr. Joyce Ford Bales, Superintendent, Pueblo School District 60, Pueblo
Michael Bennet, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools, Denver
Joe Blake, President and CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver
Art Bogardus, Executive Director, T.H. Pickens Technical Center, Aurora
Ralph W. Christie, Jr. P.E., Chairman, President and CEO, Merrick & Company, Aurora
Tim Foster, President, Mesa State College, Grand Junction
Diedra Garcia, Vice President, DRG Construction Corp, Lakewood
Booker T. Graves, Executive Director, Colorado Workforce Development Council; Denver
Dr. James P. Henderson, Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Manitou Springs
Christine Johnson, President, Community College of Denver, Denver
Dwight D. Jones, Superintendent of Schools Fountain, Fountain/Ft. Carson
Stephen M. Jordan, President, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver
Wendy Mitchell, President, Aurora Economic Council, Aurora
Monte C. Moses, Ph. D, Superintendent, Cherry Creek School District, Greeley
Kay Norton, President. University of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Deborah Piwonka, Teacher, Bear Creek K-8 School Golden
Dr. Larry Edward Penley, President, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins
Josh Penry, Representative, State of Colorado, Grand Junction
Monica A. Pleiman, Chairman and CEO, OMS, Englewood
Kevin M. Smith, President, Gambro, Inc., Aurora
Nancy Spence, Senator, State of Colorado, Aurora
Pam Jo Suckla, Chairman, Colorado State Board of Education, Slickrock
Nancy Todd, Representative, State of Colorado, Aurora
Ron Tupa, Senator, State of Colorado, Boulder
Brian Vogt, Director, Colorado Economic Development and International Trade, Littleton
Judy P. Weaver, Commissioner, Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Pueblo
Carl Wieman, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Fellow of JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder
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