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

Stay Sharp Newsletter: January 2017

A+ Updates An Innovation Evening Over 100 people joined our conversation about the future of charters and innovative school designs in Colorado, where we explored questions about the future of charter authorizing, expansion, and new models in Colorado and their impact on student achievement. We heard from a number of national and local experts including:…

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School Choice for What?

By Van Schoales It is National School Choice Week, a time that A+ Colorado celebrates the opportunities school choice provides to families and students across the state of Colorado. President Trump’s Education Secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos has a reputation as a champion of school choice, but we have to ask: is she a champion of research-backed,…

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The Power of a Network

By Van Schoales For better or worse, most of us learn best from our peers. We can consciously harness peer learning, but it often happens unconsciously. Peer learning is most powerful when it occurs in an environment that delineates a clear path to success, supports collaboration, and provides ongoing feedback. Intentional, focused peer learning networks…

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Stay Sharp Newsletter: December 2016

A+ Updates Teacher Pay is ProComplicated A+ recently hosted a follow-up event to our September report on Denver’s teacher compensation system, A Fair Share. Over sixty classroom teachers and community members came together to discuss the current ProComp teacher compensation system and the A+ model presented in our report. Participants had the opportunity to hear…

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Poverty Matters (As Do Good Schools)

By Van Schoales I’m not sure what is more maddening, a teacher union leader saying that we need to address poverty before we focus on schools or an education reform advocate claiming that we can close the achievement gap with the right school reform efforts. Both are too simplistic. Research says: Family and Schools Have…

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The Mis/Non-measure of Schools, Time to Re-think the SPF?

By Van Schoales A quality school is the most important factor–after family–in determining a person’s economic and social development. The research perspective is clear: schools can have a huge impact on not only academics but also on a person’s character and social skills. We see this in the impact that schools like KIPP have had…

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An American Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of NPR By Van Schoales Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. What’s not to love about a full day of cooking, eating and conversation with family, friends and neighbors? Thanksgiving means many things to many different people, nor is it devoid of historical context, but for me it’s about community, fellowship and…

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Do Not Tell Me that My Culture Doesn’t Value Abstract Thinking

By Liz Reetz Reading Ibram X. Kendi’s blog “Why the Academic Achievement Gap is a Racist Idea” from the African-American Intellectual History Society left me conflicted. On one hand, I appreciate that Kendi historicizes standardized tests. Those of us who see value in standardized tests should not forget their eugenicist roots, nor should we forget…

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Stay Sharp Newsletter: 2016 Election Edition

A+ Updates A year after the release of If Not Now: Transforming Aurora Public Schools from Failing to Great, A+ reviewed APS’ progress on the report’s recommendations. Stay tuned for another report on Aurora Public Schools in 2017! Did you love “A Fair Share?” Then be sure to register for the A+ “A Fairer Share” event…

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An (Un)Fair Share

By Lisa Berdie We recently released a report on teacher pay in Denver.  After much deliberation we settled on the title “A Fair Share.” But after working on this report, I’m not convinced that teachers are really receiving just that—a fair share. Denver Public Schools has an operating budget of about $1 billion. Approximately one…

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