Creating a System of High-Quality Education Options to Serve All Students (Denver, CO)

Creating a System of High-Quality Education Options to Serve All Students (Denver, CO)
Creating a System of High-Quality Education Options to Serve All Students (Denver, CO)
Denver, CO


With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there is a renewed emphasis on making sure all young people have access to high-quality educational opportunities that prepare them for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. For states and districts, this means developing and holding accountable an array of high-quality educational options for vulnerable student populations, including alternative settings. The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) is organizing a learning exchange and study tour for state leaders to explore how states can leverage opportunities under ESSA to create a system of high-quality alternative settings to serve all students.

Through site visits, panel presentations, and small group discussions, participants will gain an understanding of:

  1. Opportunities under ESSA to develop multiple pathways
  2. Opportunities and challenges that come with developing alternative programs and schools that meet the needs of their unique student bodies
  3. Policies to help facilitate development of high quality alternative settings including:
    1. Reengagement/Alternative Education for At-Risk Students
    2. Accountability & Assessment
    3. Student Supports
    4. Structured Pathways

Participants will leave with a better understanding of the conditions, especially accountability systems, that can ensure of broad range of multiple pathways, including alternative settings and an idea of how/what can be replicated in their own states.

Event Resources

Colorado’s Education Improvement Efforts Fact Sheet

Colorado State Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses

Alternative Education Campuses in Colorado

CCRS Center Brief: What Can States Learn About College and Career Readiness Accountability Measures from Alternative Education?

AYPF Webinar on Alternative Education featuring Colorado: 

ESSA and Understanding Accountability in Alternative Education: Discussion Group Brief: 

DePaoli, Jennifer et al. “Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates,” GradNation, May 9, 2016, 

Porowski, Allan, et al. “How Do States Define Alternative Education?”. Regional Education Laboratory at ICF International. September 2014. 

Preiss, Allison, “RELEASE: As States Navigate Increased Flexibility Under ESSA, New CAP Report Offers 50- State Analysis of School Accountability Systems,” Center for American Progress, May 19, 2016. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Final Regulations issued by Department of Education

Accountability Under Title 1, Part A of the ESEA, Frequently Asked Questions



Study Tour Brief

Study Tour Agenda

PPT Slides from CDE Presentation

Additional Federal Opportunities and Resources

Snapshot: Colorado’s Accountability System for Alternative Education Campuses

Denver Contact List

Post-Study Tour Resources

Denver School Descriptions




The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.