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

February Newsletter: Keeping you informed about A+ Denver

Mark your calendars!
…for February 20th, 5pm. Evan Stone, one of the co-founders for Educators 4 Excellence, will join us to talk about teachers making an impact on policy. E4E is a teacher led organization with chapters in New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles that works to ensure the voices of teachers are included in the creation of policies that affected them. Invitations to follow soon!

Never dull, the DPS board has been engaged in some lively discourse to fill the vacant seat and narrowed down the pool of applicants to 9. Stay tuned next week because we’re releasing the A+ version of US Weekly in which candidates tell all. Seriously, A+ will release a report late next week on the each of the candidates responses to an A+ questionnaire on DPS.

The best part about this post is that there is no reading required. In case you missed it, check out Michelle Rhee on the least funny interview Jon Stewart has ever given: It’s still worth watching.

You can also catch Bill Gates on Colbert which is also worth a look.

Alexander Ooms on the lack of diversity among ‘gifted and talented’ students in Denver Public Schools.Here.

A thought provoking OpEd on the growing movement to create a $10K BA here. The question of quality and value of a particular BA is as relevant as that for a particular high school diploma

Van Schoales, A+ Denver and many talented Denver education reformers (including our Education Game Changers, Barbara O’Brien, A+ Board Member) were recognized in an article by Tom Vander Ark in Education Week.

A+ Denver Updates

As you may have seen, we released a report last fall in which we raised a topic that gets lost in the urgent rush toward getting students to proficiency: the arts. In many schools, the arts have been a casualty of budget cuts, focus on core subjects, and even school autonomy. We think they should be revived, but not in a slap shot way make-a-paper-turkey-out-of-your-hand way. DPS agrees! and is creating a long-term strategic plan for arts education. We will follow this work and keep you updated. Nice work A+ Arts task force and DPS!

Denver Plan
The DPS Board has embarked on an effort to revise the Denver Plan per our call to action last year. We recently met with the Panansonic Foundation who has been hired by the DPS board to work with the entire board and superintendent to revise the district’s strategic plan. The first phase of work is focused on overcoming the barriers to get down the strategic plan design. We will be revising the A+ Denver Plan committee once we have a first draft of the DPS board’s work with Panasonic.

Noteworthy School visits
Now and then (and never often enough) we get out to spend time in schools. Last week we went to South, south, east Denver to visit Rocky Mountain Prep. Wow. That’s all we’re going to say. Go see for yourself. You won’t regret it. P.S. If anyone knows the secret to getting a call back from West High School, will you please share it with us?

In Case You Missed It
Last week, about 100 of you joined us to talk race and income in schools with Mike Petrilli. Among the questions Petrilli’s book raises: as high poverty neighborhoods gentrify, how do we keep the caucasian invasion in check? For a recap, check out this article in EdNews Colorado and listen to the podcast here.

Also, we want your feedback on how we can make these events even better. We won’t bombard you with a survey, but please send a short email ( telling us what you loved, hated or thought could have been better.