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

Colorado’s PARCC Hangover: One Step Forward or Many Back?

By Van Schoales A few weeks ago, education headlines all over Colorado read “PARCC Results In.” Summarized, the articles asserted that Colorado elementary schools had shown slight improvement from 2015 to 2016, but the results were vague to say the least. And it’s true, while the Colorado State Board of Education released the second year…

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4 Reasons Why the State Board Vote to Keep HOPE Set a Troubling Precedent

By Liz Reetz This post was updated 9/12/2016. The State Board unanimously voted to keep the Aurora campuses of HOPE Online charter school open despite the local school board’s decision to close the schools. Recently, A+ Colorado CEO Van Schoales compared HOPE Online campuses to the Ford Pinto. For all of you who lack enthusiasm for vintage…

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2016 Rambles Issue No. 3: Out of Sight, Out of Mind: How Boulder and CDE are Sweeping Students Under the Rug

By Lisa Berdie When I talk about the use of data in education (and specifically school accountability) I tend to get one of two reactions– it’s seen as either a pet project, at best peripheral to, and at worst a distraction from, school improvement strategies; or that I’m a cog in an (evil) technocratic takeover…

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2016 Rambles Issue No. 3: Steps in the Right Direction: Aurora Public Schools Set to Increase High-Quality Options

By Liz Reetz Aurora Public Schools will close out this school year with big decisions impacting district improvement and access to high-quality school choices for Aurora’s kids. At this week’s meeting, the APS Board will hear proposals for four charter schools looking to serve Aurora Public Schools students: Academy of Advanced Learning, Vega Collegiate Academy,…

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2016 Rambles Issues No. 3: What Will Tom Do (WWTD)?

By Van Schoales Tom Boasberg, the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, is about to return to his position after a six-month sabbatical with his family in South America. After seven years as superintendent, he has been one of the longest serving superintendents of an urban school district with an elected school board in our country’s…

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2016 Rambles Issue No. 2: An Effective Mill Levy = Need + Plan + Evaluation + Feedback Loop

By: Van Schoales Denver has recently begun discussions regarding a new mill levy proposal that would provide an additional $50 million to the city’s schools. As in most debates, there is ample evidence on both sides of the issue of school funding: there is evidence that the money could make a big difference, and also…

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Rambles Issue No. 2: Setting the Bar for Innovation

Setting the Bar for Innovation By: Lisa Berdie Aurora Public Schools will be approaching the State Board of Education in May with a proposed Innovation Zone to implement next year. Five* schools in the Aurora Central High School feeder pattern will make up the zone that will be organized around a theme of global leadership.…

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2016 Rambles Issue No. 2: Measuring Educational Equity: Mission Accomplished or Merely Begun?

Measuring Education Equity: Mission Accomplished or Merely Begun? By: Van Schoales   Post originally appeared in the Thomas B. Fordham Flypaper blog, republished here with slight modifications.   Education Cities and Great Schools recently released a useful new educational data tool called the Education Equality Index (EEI), which allows users to compare cities and states…

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2016 Rambles Issue No. 2: Neighborhood Schools and the Achievement Gap

By Laura Lefkowits In 1995, Federal District Court Judge Richard Matsch terminated the decades-old desegregation order for Denver Public Schools claiming that the district had “removed the vestiges of past discrimination to the extent practicable.” As it turned out, the “extent practicable” in Denver was minimal given the exit from DPS of over 30,000 mostly…

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2016 Rambles No. 1: Starting the Year Off Write(ing)

Starting Off the Year Write(ing) By: Lisa Berdie Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Though I generally prefer to think of life as a “continuous improvement plan,” I appreciate the social pressure to reflect and take stock of the past year, and set goals for the next one. Some things I’d like for myself in…

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