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

Rambles Issue No. 6: Are Students Ready to ACT?

Are Students Ready to ACT? By: Lisa Berdie 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…

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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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Rambles Issue No. 5: Do Denver Schools Teach Kids to Write?

Do Denver Schools Teach Kids to Write? By: Van Schoales If we measure only one skill, it should be writing. A national commission from a decade ago Writing: A Ticket to Work… Or a Ticket Out surveyed America’s top 120 corporations and found that writing is a “threshold skill” for hiring and promotion in every industry.  Two-thirds…

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Rambles Issue No. 5: How to Slice the Summer Pie

How to Slice the Summer Pie By: Sari Levy Summer break isn’t an American invention but it has come to feel as American as apple pie. Only, in the true American spirit, we eat it all in a single sitting.  Summer break’s origins (like Spring break’s) are  likely in ancient Greece, when it was too…

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Rambles Issue No. 5: Opting into a Worthwhile Experiment

Opting into a Worthwhile Experiment By: Van Schoales Twenty years ago, the introduction of charter schools changed Denver Public Schools more than any single policy since busing had done. Then, last month the Board said that schools should have to “opt-in” rather than “opt-out” of district supports like curriculum, school-based assessments, and professional development.  …

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Rambles Issue No. 5: (In)Equality in Arts

(In)Equity in Arts By: Sari Levy Over the spring semester, we’ve been visiting schools (both public and private) and classrooms to see their arts programs. Hardly our first foray into arts education (see our previous report on the subject) these visits do help us broaden our understanding of what schools – and their arts education–…

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Rambles Issue No. 5: $1.64 Billion: Where Will It Go?

$1.64 Billion: Where Will It Go? By: Lisa Berdie “School finance” and “resource allocation.”  Two phrases that are probably some of the least inspirational in all of education.  But now that DPS’ decentralization is the talk of the town, I’m curious what autonomy will mean for schools’ funding.   When push-comes-to-shove, the success of this…

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Another View on Grad Rates: Peter Huidekoper

Another View #131 Peter Huidekoper, Jr. June 10, 2015 Higher graduation rates? A word of caution before we celebrate In our state, the high school graduation statistics tell us little about what that degree means—in terms of a graduate’s knowledge and skills.  Last week’s 2014 Legislative Report on Remedial Education again makes that clear: (http://highered.colorado.gov/Publications/Reports/Remedial/FY2014/2014_Remedial_relJune03.pdf).…

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Denver Teacher Compensation Brief

Denver Teacher Compensation Brief ProComp: A History ProComp, Denver’s teacher compensation system, was collaboratively designed by DPS and DCTA. It was developed to incentivize and reward teachers who set and reach high learning expectations for students, creating a differentiated compensation structure that moved beyond teacher tenure and level of education by providing a pay-for-performance incentive system.…

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Rambles Issue No. 4: Tilting toward Dystopia

Rambles Issue #4: Tilting toward Dystopia Written by: Van Schoales Colorado’s 20-year record of steady (if slow) improvement may be dashed in coming weeks if political leaders do not stand up for accountability. We’re one of many states in the midst of a series of critical education policy battles that could send us back to…

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