Letter to State Board of Education on Progress of Aurora Public Schools

A+ newest report, Start With the Facts: Aurora Public Schools 2017, showed the district has entered its fifth year of stagnant student achievement, as measured by state standardized tests, high school graduation rates, and ACT scores. 2017-2018 is Aurora Public Schools’ last school year to show it can improve before this body must take action in intervene on behalf of Aurora’s students and families. The report finds:

  • While graduation rates in Aurora have increased, only one in four high school graduates enroll in college and half of all APS students who go to college have to take remedial courses. This indicates that APS high schools are not preparing their graduates for college-level work.
  • Opportunities to attend a top performing school in Aurora are not evenly distributed across the district. All of the top performing APS schools are in the Southeastern quadrant of the district. 
  • In APS, Black students, Latinx students, Multiracial students, and students qualifying for free or reduced price lunch have median growth percentiles below 50 meaning that they have made less growth than more than half their academic peers. Low income students and students of color in APS are falling behind their academic peers across the state.

A+ Colorado offers these four policy recommendations to increase student achievement across the district, and it was a follow-up report to the 2015 publication, If Not Now: Transforming Aurora Public Schools from Failing to Great.