These posts are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of A+ Colorado.

A+ Denver: 2015 Round-up

Happy Holidays! There has been as much education news as snow this week. Denver, our state, and nation are in the midst of a variety of important changes.  We have our first PARCC scores, a change in Denver Public School leadership, a new state commissioner, and a new federal education law: “Every Student Succeeds Act”…

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A Socratic Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time this year. With conflict and violence on the rise around the globe, it provides a rare time to bring family, neighbors and friends together to cook, talk and hang out. And there are no gifts! It’s my favorite holiday. We will gather part of our tribe in Los…

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My Holiday Wish List

Data-driven decision-making. It’s a term bandied about by many of us in education. Data should—and often does—inform policy. For example, data from the task force exploring the amount of instructional time spent on testing was instrumental at the state house last year with the passage of HB 15-1323. At the district level, Denver’s Facility Allocation…

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Ramble Issue No. 7: Northfield HS: The School Reform that Needs our Attention and Support

By Dr. Philip Bernhardt The recent opening of Northfield High School (NHS) in Denver is a significant event that anyone committed to educating children and improving schools needs to be paying close attention to. Why pay attention? First, Northfield HS has de-tracked its academic programming; all students participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma pathway.…

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On the Good Ship Stennis: A+ Goes to Sea

Last week, I had the of privilege being flown by a C-2 Greyhound from San Diego’s Naval Air Station to the USS John Stennis, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, to spend 24 hours learning about the US Navy’s training and operations with a small group of educators and business leaders. The Stennis is one of ten…

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Special Edition Election Recap: The 5 Things this Election Taught Us about Education Politics

Our congratulations go out to new and re-elected board members in Denver and Aurora: Lisa Flores (NW Denver), Happy Haynes (Denver At-Large), Anne Rowe (SE Denver), Monica Colbert (Aurora At-Large), Dan Jorgensen (Aurora At-Large), and Cathy Wildman (Aurora At-Large). We look forward to working with all of you in the coming years. Tuesday’s election provided…

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October 2015 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends,  Just as back to school routines are settling in, big changes are already taking shape for next year. Read on to learn more about our latest report, school board races, and school facility decisions. If Not Now… Why We’re Talking about Aurora Public Schools A+ Updates People often forget there are…

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Talking About Race and Achievement

I started working in Denver twenty years ago, the same year that forced busing, the federally mandated school integration plan, ended.  That year many schools went through a dramatic change in population as schools returned to primarily serving neighborhood students. There were few schools post-busing that were both effective and racially integrated. Those schools (mostly middle…

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A Tale of 5 Reform Districts

 Colorado’s system of academic standards and assessments started in 1995, making 2015 the 20thanniversary of the standards movement. With the introduction of the Colorado Student Assessment Program (better known as CSAP) came the acknowledgement that Colorado had large pockets of underperforming schools. Districts in Colorado began acting on this information. In particular, five large districts…

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Are Students Ready to ACT?

It’s not new news in Colorado that in five years nearly three-quarters of jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education. Nor is it new news that Denver students don’t meet those credentials. We’ve written before that too few DPS graduates are headed to college and that even those that head to college aren’t prepared. Now that…

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