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

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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Suppressed and Unimpressed: Colorado’s Disappearing Data

Could you imagine a city that didn’t closely track the value of every house to assess property taxes? This data is ubiquitous and drives both individual decisions (like home buying) and policy decisions around budgeting, planning, zoning, and transit. This information is available to the public and policymakers nearly immediately and is just a google…

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Educating for the Rise of the Robots

“We’ve managed to slip evolution’s leash now, haven’t we? We can cure any disease, keep even the weakest of us alive and one fine day perhaps we shall even resurrect the dead, call forth Lazarus from his cave. Do you know what that means? That means we are done, that this is as good as…

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The End of School Accountability?

Last week, the Colorado State Board of Education turned its back on the 83,475 students in turnaround and priority improvement schools when they gave Aurora Central High School and HOPE Online a free pass to continue to continue to collect our tax dollars despite not educating our students.    The Colorado State Board of Education…

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How We Got Colorado’s Teacher-Evaluation Reform Wrong

Originally appeared in EdWeek Vol. 36, Issue 27, Page 28. Published in Print: April 5, 2017, as “The New Teacher-Evaluation Laws: Education’s Pyrrhic Victory?” Back in May 2010, hundreds of the nation’s education foundation, policy, and practice elites were gathered for the NewSchools Venture Fund meeting in Washington to celebrate and learn from the most recent education…

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Time to Reflect on Colorado’s Teacher Evaluation System (SB-191)?

The long awaited Teacher Effectiveness Data from the 2014-2015 School Year arrived last week with remarkably little fanfare. It has been seven years since teacher evaluation bill SB-191 was passed. Who would have guessed that that there were fewer than 5 ineffective principals in all of Colorado or that most school districts had zero ineffective…

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School Choice for What?

It is National School Choice Week, a time that A+ Colorado celebrates the opportunities school choice provides to families and students across the state of Colorado. President Trump’s Education Secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos has a reputation as a champion of school choice, but we have to ask: is she a champion of research-backed, equity-driven school choice,…

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The Power of a Network

For better or worse, most of us learn best from our peers. We can consciously harness peer learning, but it often happens unconsciously. Peer learning is most powerful when it occurs in an environment that delineates a clear path to success, supports collaboration, and provides ongoing feedback. Intentional, focused peer learning networks work. Given this,…

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Poverty Matters (As Do Good Schools)

I’m not sure what is more maddening, a teacher union leader saying that we need to address poverty before we focus on schools or an education reform advocate claiming that we can close the achievement gap with the right school reform efforts. Both are too simplistic. Research says: Family and Schools Have Largest Impact on…

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The Mis/Non-measure of Schools, Time to Re-think the SPF?

A quality school is the most important factor–after family–in determining a person’s economic and social development. The research perspective is clear: schools can have a huge impact on not only academics but also on a person’s character and social skills. We see this in the impact that schools like KIPP have had at successfully getting…

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