On Thursday, March 16 the House Education Committee heard HB23-1231: Math In Pre-kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade, which requires CDE to create and offer free, optional trainings in evidence-based practices in mathematics, including a training specifically designed for elementary school educators and a training specifically designed for secondary school mathematics educators. The bill also amends the ninth-grade success grant program and requires the CDE to prioritize applicants that propose programming focused on evidence-based mathematics skills and intervention strategies, including a focus on students who are below grade level or struggling in mathematics and have academic achievement levels in mathematics that are consistently ranked the lowest for public high schools in the state. Funding for the Ninth Grade Success Grant program is a top priority of Stand Colorado. Below is the testimony in support of HB23-1231 of Krista Spurgin, Stand Executive Director.
“Good afternoon Mr. Chair, House Education Committee Members, my name is Krista Spurgin and the Executive Director with Stand for Children Colorado. Stand for Children is an education advocacy and racial justice nonprofit that supports parents, teachers, and community members in their fight for excellent public schools and systems changes that directly impact all of Colorado’s kids.
We are very supportive of HB1231 as a whole and want to specifically speak to the section of this bill that increases funding for the 9th Grade Success Grant program and prioritizes schools focused on math.
The 9th Grade Year has been called the Make Or Break year because Students who are on track at the end of the 9th grade year – meaning they are passing core class such as math and are meeting attendance expectations – are 3 times more likely graduate on time.
Research actually shows that on-track status is a stronger predictor of high school graduation than race/ethnicity, level of poverty, and test scores combined!
In School year 21-22 schools focused on 9th grade success work increased 9th grade on-track rates by an average of 19 percentage points putting 2,300 additional students on track to graduation.
We believe that prioritizing grantees that have a plan to focus on math is a great use of the funding and the program. I appreciate your time today and ask for your support of HB23-1231.”