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

Denver’s Good But Is It That Good?

Reviewing the latest distribution of colors from the Denver Public Schools (DPS) release of the 2017 School Performance Framework (SPF), you would think that DPS made the biggest improvement of any school system in the history of American public education in just one year, where the district went from identifying 1 in 7 elementary schools…

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A Parent’s Perspective: Learning Disabilities and ESSA in Colorado

By Nicola Frost, Understood.org Regional Field Manager, National Center for Learning Disabilities (ncld.org) My son has always been inquisitive and full of life. He loved to build structures out of recycled materials, playing with friends and asking “why”.  But in first grade his curiosity began to be replaced with fear.  He struggled to write his name,…

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Learning from the Navy?

A few years ago, I had the privilege of spending a few days learning about the US Navy’s training programs which included 24 hours on the USS Stennis, one of ten Nimitz class aircraft carriers.  There is nothing like sitting on the deck of an aircraft carrier at 11 PM in total darkness and 10-…

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How do we get “The Big Mo” in Aurora?

Recent events (and upcoming elections) have education leaders in Colorado asking: is there momentum in Aurora? What is “The Big Mo”? Some folks may have heard about the idea of “The Big Mo.”  It’s shorthand for a term in behavioral momentum theory that suggests success breeds success.  It’s the idea that when a campaign or…

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Spinning Our Wheels: Are District Efforts the Key?

Colorado has been a leader on state education policy but we have little to show in terms of achievement improvement in spite of two decades of bipartisan support. More than 75% of Colorado’s jobs by 2020 will require some sort of post-secondary degree yet fewer than 23% of Colorado’s high school students are currently persisting…

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False Positives? Moving Beyond Brenda and Eddie

Student test scores came out a few weeks ago and once again districts, media, and pundits (us included), made lists of schools and districts to watch. It seems too often these days, education reformers get ahead of themselves declaring victory (with a year of growth data) or nothing at all before we know whether most…

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Beyond Family Engagement: Toward the “Open System”

For the past three years, I’ve worked at Denver Public Schools in the Office of Family and Community Engagement.  It has been an incredible experience and as I’ve transitioned to my new role as Senior Partner, Advocacy and Alliances at A+ Colorado, I’ve wanted  to reflect a bit more on my time and work.  …

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Lessons from the Peach State

East Lake, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Atlanta has much to show us about how to revitalize an impoverished community without pushing out current residents. Twenty years ago, it was home to East Lake Meadows a public housing project that was known as for its high crime rate, failing schools, and food desert. In…

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Keeping up as Denver Public Schools Keep Getting Better

Originally appeared in the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper By Christopher Rom A short new report by A+ Colorado evaluates the recent gains of Denver Public Schools (DPS) in a way that education leaders elsewhere might beneficially heed. First, we see that more DPS students met grade level proficiency for Math and ELA in 2016…

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Colorado High Schools that Prepare their Graduates for Life, Work and College

This month, 50,000 Colorado students will graduate from high school, but more than one third—about 17,500 students—will not be college ready. Most Colorado high schools graduate some of their students ready for the next steps in life, but far too few high schools graduate most of their students ready to take on the challenges of…

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