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

Out of Disappointment, An Opportunity?

By Liz Reetz Aurora School Board Director Cathy Wildman made multiple anti-immigrant statements at the Aurora Public Schools Board Meeting on May 15. The resolution brought before the school board should not have been controversial, Denver and many other school districts passed similar resolutions without controversy. The resolution, crafted by APS students and families convened…

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Suppressed and Unimpressed: Colorado’s Disappearing Data

By Van Schoales 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…

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Educating for the Rise of the Robots

By Van Schoales “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…

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The End of School Accountability?

By Van Schoales 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…

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Colorado’s ESSA Plan: An Incomplete Pass

By: Lisa Berdie Originally appeared in Education Post. Published online: April 14, 2017, as “Colorado’s ESSA Plan Doesn’t Quite Get All Kids Across the Goal Line.” As Colorado updates its accountability system to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), we have the opportunity to rethink how it provides both accountability and transparency. Unfortunately, the…

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How We Got Colorado’s Teacher-Evaluation Reform Wrong

By Van Schoales 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…

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Why Can’t You Speak From the Heart? Race, Class & “Authentic” Community Engagement

By Liz Reetz College-educated power brokers are often skeptical of well-informed community voice, especially when it comes from families who are low income or people of color. Most recently, I saw this with an Aurora mother whose daughter graduated from Hinkley. She was motivated to join the Resident Leaders Council when her daughter had to…

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High Expectations have to Coincide with a Student-Centered Philosophy

By Chris Geary, Guest Blogger As an AP World History teacher at a charter school in the Far Northeast of Denver that holds uniquely high expectations for students, I have witnessed the fundamental necessity of expecting students to perform to the best of their ability on a daily basis. Students absolutely can, and will repeatedly,…

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

By Van Schoales and Lisa Berdie 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…

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A Gold Mine of a Report on How Pension Plans Rip Off Young Teachers

Reposted from the PERAscope blog If you can tear yourself away for a moment from the endless news stories about tweets and executive orders, then by all means settle in and read this compelling new report by The Thomas B. Fordham institute. “No Money in the Bank” does more than layout the many dimensions of the…

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