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

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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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.…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


Another View on School Choice in Denver

Another View #134 Peter Huidekoper, Jr. August 12th, 2015    School Choice in Denver – much good news, but is it too difficult? Given so much good news about the SchoolChoice process in Denver—and I am a fan – it may seem uncharitable to focus on a trouble spot. But if low-income and minority families…

Continue Reading …


Do Denver Schools Teach Kids to Write?

If we measure only one skill, it should be writing. A national commission from a decade ago Writing: A Ticket to Work… Or a Ticket Out surveyed America’s top 120 corporations and found that writing is a “threshold skill” for hiring and promotion in every industry.  Two-thirds of salaried employees have some writing responsibility. Half of these…

Continue Reading …


How to Slice the Summer Pie

By Sari Levy Summer break isn’t an American invention but it has come to feel as American as apple pie. Only, in the true American spirit, we eat it all in a single sitting.  Summer break’s origins (like Spring break’s) are  likely in ancient Greece, when it was too hot during the summer to concentrate.…

Continue Reading …