External manager choice unclear as Adams 14 board takes no action

Uncertainty remains as to who will manage Adams 14 to try to raise student achievement in the struggling district.

The Adams 14 school board met behind closed doors for almost three hours Wednesday to talk in part about the external manager situation, but the board adjourned after the session without taking any action. Wednesday was the deadline the board had set last week asking Mapleton to commit to working with a new group, or risk losing the position as the district’s selected external manager.

The State Board of Education in November ordered the district to find an external manager after it spent eight years on a performance watch list. In February, the Adams 14 school board selected its neighboring district, Mapleton, to be the external manager, following the community’s wishes.

But when the district took the decision to the State Board of Education last month, state officials doubted Mapleton’s ability to effectively lead Adams 14. State officials postponed finalizing a manager, and instead asked Adams 14 and Mapleton officials to get together and talk. They encouraged them to identify a third party that could help Mapleton do the work of managing Adams 14.

A spokesman for the district said Wednesday that Adams 14 is going to work with the Colorado Department of Education to set up a meeting between Adams 14 and Mapleton “to try to honor the State Board of Education’s request.”

Last week, stating that they were following the state’s wishes, the Adams 14 board voted to select MGT Consulting, a runner-up in the search for a manager, as that other group, and asked Mapleton to commit to work with them by Wednesday afternoon.

Mapleton officials responded in a letter right away that did not commit to work with that group specifically, but asked for a meeting to talk about it.

Mapleton officials were not present at the Wednesday meeting, and reached earlier, officials said they have not had a meeting with Adams 14 since their correspondence last week.