A school district in Westminster struggling with declining enrollment and falling test scores will try something revolutionary next year that many say never has been accomplished in the Lower 48.
Adams 50 will eliminate grade levels and instead group students based on what they know, allowing them to advance to the next level after they have proved proficiency.
“If they can pull this off, it will be a lighthouse for America’s challenged school districts,” said Richard DeLorenzo, the consultant who implemented a standards-based model in Alaska and is working with Adams 50. “It will change the face of American education.”
A district of 10,000 students and 21 schools, Adams 50 serves a working-class suburb north of Denver. Seventy-two percent of its students are poor enough for federal meal benefits, two-thirds are Latino, and 38 percent still are learning English.