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

Are Colorado’s Charter Schools Public?

In order to answer the question, it is important to define what is a public school.  There are many ways to answer the question from a legal, political, practice and mission perspective.  Some of these are easier to answer than others. The simple but incomplete answer per Colorado law, a public school “is a school…

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Does Race Matter for Colorado’s Influential Education Organization Boards?

  As we enter another education policy season with hundreds of legislative bills designed to improve public education, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at who sits on some of the state’s most influential education organizations. Colorado is a diverse state with a growing number of non-white students (46%). Our largest…

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Has Denver Reached the Peak or is it Starting the Climb?

It’s been over a year since I opined about Denver Public Schools’ strategic direction What Will Tom Do? and I thought it would be a good time to reflect. In particular, the recent elections are the perfect time to step back and think through the next stage of the work in Denver.  I congratulate all…

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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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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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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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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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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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