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

2016 Rambles No. 1: Educating for Citizenship

By Jan Brennan Can one semester of civics prepare metro Denver youth for an active and informed role in democracy and community life? If you are doubtful, the statistics should strengthen your skepticism. The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that only 23% of American 8th grade students demonstrated civics proficiency in 2014[i]. A Crisis…

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Another View: Sherlock Holmes for Superintendent

Another View #141 Peter Huidekoper,Jr. http://anotherviewphj.blogspot.com/ January 5, 2016 Curiosity – a key ingredient to better schools We celebrate curiosity in our students. Their curiosity and wonder provides much of the joy for those of us who teach. We depend on it.  Even for our jaded juniors and seniors, thank God, it’s still there. Education…

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A Socratic Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time this year. With conflict and violence on the rise around the globe, it provides a rare time to bring family, neighbors and friends together to cook, talk and hang out. And there are no gifts! It’s my favorite holiday. We will gather part of our tribe in Los…

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My Holiday Wish List

Data-driven decision-making. It’s a term bandied about by many of us in education. Data should—and often does—inform policy. For example, data from the task force exploring the amount of instructional time spent on testing was instrumental at the state house last year with the passage of HB 15-1323. At the district level, Denver’s Facility Allocation…

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Ramble Issue No. 7: Northfield HS: The School Reform that Needs our Attention and Support

By Dr. Philip Bernhardt The recent opening of Northfield High School (NHS) in Denver is a significant event that anyone committed to educating children and improving schools needs to be paying close attention to. Why pay attention? First, Northfield HS has de-tracked its academic programming; all students participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma pathway.…

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On the Good Ship Stennis: A+ Goes to Sea

Last week, I had the of privilege being flown by a C-2 Greyhound from San Diego’s Naval Air Station to the USS John Stennis, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, to spend 24 hours learning about the US Navy’s training and operations with a small group of educators and business leaders. The Stennis is one of ten…

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Talking About Race and Achievement

I started working in Denver twenty years ago, the same year that forced busing, the federally mandated school integration plan, ended.  That year many schools went through a dramatic change in population as schools returned to primarily serving neighborhood students. There were few schools post-busing that were both effective and racially integrated. Those schools (mostly middle…

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A Tale of 5 Reform Districts

 Colorado’s system of academic standards and assessments started in 1995, making 2015 the 20thanniversary of the standards movement. With the introduction of the Colorado Student Assessment Program (better known as CSAP) came the acknowledgement that Colorado had large pockets of underperforming schools. Districts in Colorado began acting on this information. In particular, five large districts…

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Are Students Ready to ACT?

It’s not new news in Colorado that in five years nearly three-quarters of jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education. Nor is it new news that Denver students don’t meet those credentials. We’ve written before that too few DPS graduates are headed to college and that even those that head to college aren’t prepared. Now that…

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Another View on School Choice in Denver

Another View #134 Peter Huidekoper, Jr. August 12th, 2015    School Choice in Denver – much good news, but is it too difficult? Given so much good news about the SchoolChoice process in Denver—and I am a fan – it may seem uncharitable to focus on a trouble spot. But if low-income and minority families…

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