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Turning around performance –the new Adams County School District 14

You might say Adams County School District 14 is in the turnaround of its life.   The ‘forced mandate’ by the State of Colorado is all about performance standards and the district’s need to measure up – within just two years.  And if it doesn’t?  The State of Colorado isn’t pulling any punches.  It would then assume management control over the district.

Patrick Sanchez is Adams-14’s new Superintendent, duly committed to initiate a complete academic turnaround.  Referred to by some as a ‘turnaround director’, Patrick is fully aware of some very tough decisions that need to be made to bring an entire district into state compliance.

“We are [re]opening the district to the community and letting them know that we are all about change and improvement,” said Mr. Sanchez, as he reaffirmed his points on a bulletin board display in his office.  “Academics, alignment, and sustainability are three goals that we are addressing in the process.”

Patrick Sanchez, whose turnaround efforts have had proven successes in other school districts, offers a few suggestions regarding ‘why’ the district fell behind in the first place, academically.  According to Patrick, standardized testing – a basis upon which the State of Colorado evaluates the district–has not been aligned with the day-to-day classroom curriculum.  In other words,  students have not learned in class, the skills they needed for standardized tests and that has been a large problem.

Mr. Sanchez, admits the controversial nature of his role in the district.  But his mantra is clear, even empathetic to a community that has supported the district in the past.  “We need to fix [the district] or its not worth investing in.  It’s morally wrong for kids to graduate with a diploma that doesn’t mean something…. and the urgency of this is why I’m here.”

But if “success” truly “breeds success,” as Patrick Sanchez espouses, we must hold the greatest hope and optimism for a district with as many new qualifications as its leadership under its  Superintendent, Patrick Sanchez.