Colorado Succeeds is proud to champion policies that promote equitable access to high-quality educational opportunities spanning from early childhood to postsecondary education.

Each year, we strive to co-create and advocate for policies alongside students, families, community members, and business leaders that will have the largest positive impact on students historically the farthest from opportunity.

2022 proved to be a transformative year for policy, with big wins for learners. It also marked a significant step for Colorado Succeeds as we moved soundly into the postsecondary policy and advocacy space supporting a suite of policies that will seed education innovation, transform the state’s data infrastructure, envision how to blur the lines between K12 and postsecondary education, and create easy to navigate pathways in in-demand fields.  

2023 will be a busy year as we focus on helping to support the systems-level change still being envisioned by the various taskforces and workgroups created in 2022. We look forward to building on this work in 2023 to work toward reaching our vision of all learners reaching their full potential, and all businesses having the homegrown talent they need to thrive. 

With this in mind, our 2023 policy agenda focuses on three key goals to change the system to work best for our state and its students: 

Colorado Succeeds believes every family deserves access to a school that best meets the needs of their learner. It is essential we focus now on accountability and continuous improvement as Colorado students posted the lowest scores in more than a decade on the test known as “the nation’s report card,” with the steepest declines in middle school math and with Hispanic and/or Latinx students losing the most ground.

We look forward to partnering with our state’s leaders to ensure: 

  • Assessments and an accountability system allow teachers, parents, and stakeholders to have a shared understanding of student achievement and growth. 
  • Protection of charter and innovation schools, including making steps toward more equitable funding for charter schools. 
  • Prioritization of equitable school funding at K-12 level based on student needs.

It is essential that Colorado’s high school students graduate ready for their next step. We believe every student in Colorado should complete their high school education with a high school diploma, a postsecondary credential, and a career-connected learning experience.

We will work this year to:

  • Extend the authorization, increase funding, and maximize the impact of the Career Development Incentive Program (CDIP). 
  • Streamline and expand access to high-quality, aligned postsecondary learning experiences for students in high school based on the recommendations provided by the HB 1215 Task Force. 
  • Support the quantity and quality of the teacher workforce pipeline.

The Talent Pipeline Report released this week tells us that in 2022, Colorado has two job openings for every available worker. We must put all our learners on a pathway to success and economic mobility – and ensure our state’s businesses have the talent they need to thrive.

To achieve this vision, we believe there is work to be done to: 

  • Ensure learners have the right to successfully transfer credit between postsecondary institutions, including credit that was earned through work-based learning.
  • Study the effectiveness of the current transfer system to ensure students’ right to get credit for all their work is being honored under the current system.
  • Support efforts to use existing data systems to report relevant outcomes about education and training providers while also building toward systems that have more capacity to report meaningful outcomes and improve transparency.  

We are grateful to our state’s legislators, partner organizations, members, and the students and families who will help us achieve the vision of a quality learning provider for each family and a relevant pathway for every learner.

To learn more or get involved, please contact Katie Zaback, Vice President of Policy.

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Katie Zaback