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

Denver Turnaround Initiative Showing Achievement Gains

Originally posted on EdWeek, June 6, 2012. Copyright © edweek.org Written by Jason Tomassini. One year into an aggressive, expensive school turnaround initiative, some of Denver’s lowest-performing public schools are showing marked academic improvement by providing an education nearly identical to that of the highest-performing charter schools in the country. All the schools that now…

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Preparing high school students to do more than just graduate

Originally posted on Democrats for Education Reform, June 6, 2012. Copyright © DFER.org Read here. Written by Van Schoales. It’s that magical time of the year when school comes to a close and high school graduates step out onto the wonderful and scary stage of adulthood to start careers, enter college, and begin new, independent…

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Report: DPS Must Set Higher Goals

Originally posted on EdNewsColorado, May 23, 2012. Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org Written by Nancy Mitchell. The report, True North: Goals for Denver Public Schools, states the five broad goals outlined in the district’s current strategic plan “lack rigor, structure and consistency” and that “too few of these goals … either focus on or prioritize academic achievement.”…

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Report: DPS still doesn’t make the grade, despite effort for improvement

Originally posted on Denver Post May 22, 2012. Copyright © denverpost.com Read here. Written by Karen Auge. Despite years of effort, an infusion of resources and some improvement, Denver Public Schools “is far behind and not rapidly making the grade,” a report by a consortium of influential education non-profits and advocates concludes. The report by…

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Letter from Van–Testing: Checks and Balances

Dear Members and Friends, Some of you may have seen the very distressing news yesterday on the investigation into cheating at several Denver Public Schools including the highly acclaimed Beach Court Elementary (EdNews article here). Over the last five years I, like many, have been a huge supporter and cheerleader for Beach Court and given…

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May Newsletter: New board members, New scores, New schools, and No New Plan

It’s time to tie up some loose ends here at A+ Denver and fill you in on what we’ve been up to the past month. Introductions First, we would like to welcome and introduce our newest staff member, Kathryn Frazier, who is joining us for one year as a part of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.…

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Commentary: Take care with ECE planning

Originally posted on EdNewsColorado, April 25, 2012. Copyright © EdNewsColorado.org Read here. Written by Van Schoales. I recently completed a backyard construction project that got me thinking about early childhood education systems. My project has been a bit of an odyssey that began four or five years ago when I thought that with limited resources,…

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Press Release: The Denver Plan and the Board of Education

News Release Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 6pm Media Contact: Van Schoales, CEO, A+ Denver (303) 725-1151 van@aplusdenver.org The Denver Plan and the Board of Education: Time to reevaluate the strategic plan to reflect current priorities and accountability measures. A+ Denver has submitted a letter to the DPS Board of Education addressing our concerns with…

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Graduated, not educated

Originally posted on DenverPost.com, Feb. 12, 2012. Copyright © DenverPost.com Read here. Written by Van Schoales and Barbara O’Brien. Too many students are graduating from Colorado high schools without the skills or knowledge to succeed in college. A little more than a decade ago, we were part of a team at the Colorado Children’s Campaign…

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Report Release – School Achievement in Denver: The Impact of Charter Schools

We are pleased to release our latest report, “School Achievement in Denver: The Impact of Charter Schools.” This report was created in response to one of many questions that were raised after we released “Start with the Facts: Strengthening the Denver Public Schools Pipeline”. We have disaggregated the school performance data for 2011 in the…

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