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

How We Got Colorado’s Teacher-Evaluation Reform Wrong

By Van Schoales Originally appeared in EdWeek Vol. 36, Issue 27, Page 28. Published in Print: April 5, 2017, as “The New Teacher-Evaluation Laws: Education’s Pyrrhic Victory?” Back in May 2010, hundreds of the nation’s education foundation, policy, and practice elites were gathered for the NewSchools Venture Fund meeting in Washington to celebrate and learn from the…

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Why Can’t You Speak From the Heart? Race, Class & “Authentic” Community Engagement

By Liz Reetz College-educated power brokers are often skeptical of well-informed community voice, especially when it comes from families who are low income or people of color. Most recently, I saw this with an Aurora mother whose daughter graduated from Hinkley. She was motivated to join the Resident Leaders Council when her daughter had to…

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High Expectations have to Coincide with a Student-Centered Philosophy

By Chris Geary, Guest Blogger As an AP World History teacher at a charter school in the Far Northeast of Denver that holds uniquely high expectations for students, I have witnessed the fundamental necessity of expecting students to perform to the best of their ability on a daily basis. Students absolutely can, and will repeatedly,…

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Stay Sharp Newsletter: March 2017

A+ Updates A Month of Events This evening, join A+ and YEP for a conversation with renowned education reformer, Rick Hess. In his latest book, Letters to a Young Education Reformer, Rick Hess distills 25 years of knowledge working in and around school reform, offering a window into Hess’ thinking about what education reform is…

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Stay Sharp Newsletter: February 2017

A+ Updates A BOLD New Report Read The Outliers: The State of Colorado School Districts 2016 to see data on the state of academic outcomes for students in school districts across the state of Colorado. We created two versions of this ground-breaking report: one printable version with 32 pages jam-packed with data, and an expanded…

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Time to Reflect on Colorado’s Teacher Evaluation System (SB-191)?

By Van Schoales and Lisa Berdie The long awaited Teacher Effectiveness Data from the 2014-2015 School Year arrived last week with remarkably little fanfare. It has been seven years since teacher evaluation bill SB-191 was passed. Who would have guessed that that there were fewer than 5 ineffective principals in all of Colorado or that…

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A Gold Mine of a Report on How Pension Plans Rip Off Young Teachers

Reposted from the PERAscope blog If you can tear yourself away for a moment from the endless news stories about tweets and executive orders, then by all means settle in and read this compelling new report by The Thomas B. Fordham institute. “No Money in the Bank” does more than layout the many dimensions of the…

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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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