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

Reimagining the Yellow School Bus

The results of the first round of SchoolChoice are in for the 2015-2016 school year. SchoolChoice participation in Southwest Denver, with its two new shared enrollment boundaries, jumped dramatically from 67% last year to 91% this year. Yet, thousands of parents in the places with the worst schools still feel stuck because it is so…

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Looking for the Forest through the Trees

By Sari Levy No one wants to be asked to defend testing. In Boulder, where I live, anti-testing fervor is almost as strong as the pro-organic-gardening-fervor. To prove their point, 84% of students at Boulder Valley High opted out of the last fall’s science and social studies testing. We are a small but typical cluster…

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Another View: Peter Huidekoper

Another View #129                                                                                                     Peter Huidekoper, Jr. April 8, 2015 Evidence of success from the charter world – smaller high schools From “Denver and Aurora High Schools; Crisis and Opportunity”(A Plus Denver, 4/2013) “With the exception of DSST, we have had little success in creating high schools that are mission-driven toward a specific outcome (like…

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Is a Colorado high school diploma really worth anything?

In 2013 the Colorado Department of Education sat down to take a look at what a high school diploma in Colorado was worth. In releasing the first recommendation of graduation guidelines, the State Board recognized students will need to function in “a modern information dependent society,” where there is a need “for a ‘floor’ of…

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Van’s Ramblings: A Plea for Inquiry on this year’s TCAP results

Dear friends, On August 13 Colorado’s 2014 TCAP scores will be released, and as has happened since “Nation at Risk” was released in 1983, almost everyone will be frustrated with what will likely be only small, incremental improvement. Some will blame reforms, saying they’ve been too weak, too strong, or misguided. Others will point to…

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Van’s Ramblings: Less is more

Dear friends, In 2013, Mat Honan wrote an article for WIRED called Why Subtraction Is the Hardest Math in Product Design. He points out that simplicity sticks, saying it has “made hits of the Nest thermostat, Fitbit, and TiVo. Simple brought Apple back from the dead. It’s why you have Netflix. The Fisher Space Pen,…

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Van’s Ramblings: A high school diploma, a ticket to where?

Dear friends, This month, thousands of DPS high school students will celebrate their graduation, smiling and holding freshly printed diplomas- feeling empowered by having achieved a milestone, ready to tackle the next, but are they truly prepared for their next? From this class, about 4,000 kids will go on to college — roughly 1000 more…

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Voices: Some Monday morning quarterbacking on Amendment 66

Originally Posted by EdNews Colorado on November 19, 2013. Copyright © ednewscolorado.org. Written by Van Schoales. Read here.   A+ Denver CEO Van Schoales reflects on lessons that supporters of school finance reform should learn from the failure of the school tax measure Amendment 66. And join EdNews for a panel discussion on the future…

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Voices: 10 reasons we need better art in DPS

Originally posted on EdNewsColorado, September 7, 2012. Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org Written by Van Schoales. Van Schoales, head of A+ Denver, makes a personal and professional plea for higher quality and more comprehensive arts education in Denver Public Schools. For far too long, we education reformers have ignored quality arts education in public schools. We correctly…

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Voices: Denver should pursue Race dollars

Originally posted on EdNewsColorado, June 20, 2012. Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org Written by Jason Callegari. Jason Callegari, A+ Denver’s policy director, argues Denver Public Schools must update its strategic plan to have the best shot of winning Race to the Top dollars. On Aug. 12, the U.S. Department of Education announced its new $400 million Race…

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