The Perkins Act
Under Perkins 2006, there is an accountability system in which States and Local Recipients (school districts, technical colleges, community colleges and consortia) are held accountable for the achievement of students in a series of performance indicators. The performance indicators fall into three categories: skill attainment, retention and completion, and transitions. High school programs must measure academic achievement and high school graduation; technical (career-related) skill attainment; and transitions to college, employment or the military. Postsecondary indicators include technical skill attainment; program retention and completion; and transitions to further postsecondary education, the military and employment. Programs at both levels are also accountable for “non-traditional” participation, meaning the percentage of students that participate in a CTE program for which their gender is significantly underrepresented.
Performance targets are established for each of the indicators at the state level, and then also by each Local Recipient, based on the state performance target. If the State or Local Recipient does not meet its performance target for any one of the indicators, it must create a plan of action to improve performance (Local Improvement Plan) on that indicator. In concert with the state or local improvement plan, the federal or state government must provide technical assistance to help improve performance. Under certain circumstances, if a State or Local Recipient fails to make necessary improvement against the indicators, the federal government and state government is authorized (but not required) to implement various levels of sanctions.
The Colorado Plan
CCCS will build upon its current single statewide CTE accountability system (VE-135) in order to meet the data reporting requirements of both Perkins 2006 and the Career and Technical Act (CTA). The CTE Colorado State Plan lists the valid and reliable measurement definitions and approaches CCCS will use to evaluate performance on the core indicators of performance for the Multi-year Plan. The measure for academic achievement utilizes the Colorado Student Achievement Program (CSAP) assessment (managed by the Colorado Department of Education) and is used in compliance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (commonly known as the No Child Left Behind Act).
Based on benchmark data and the state performance levels established for each indicator, CCCS will establish local performance targets on the indicators for each school district and college. In accordance with the Perkins Act, CCCS will also provide each eligible recipient the opportunity to reach an agreement on the local performance target if it does not accept the State performance target. Colorado will continue to prepare and disseminate on an annual basis the Colorado Performance Metrics disaggregated by the same special populations as is required on the U.S. Department of Education in the Consolidated Annual Report (CAR). Perkins recipients are required to create improvement strategies in their local plans if they miss their annual performance targets. Since Colorado has chosen to roll Tech Prep funds into the Title I, community college and school districts will no longer be required to track Tech Prep students in the CTE data collection system.