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

Could COVID help reinvent the American high school?

Could American high school learning improve with COVID planning? Most of the planning for opening schools this fall around the world is being driven by how best to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID. Can you reduce class sizes? Rethink meeting in large groups? Break up schedules to meet less often or more often for…

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7 Principles for School District Budgeting in a Time of Financial Armageddon

This post originally appeared in The 74 on 5/17/2020. Colorado school district boards are about to make the most difficult financial decisions of their lives. Never have school boards or district financial leaders been asked to make such deep cuts in their budgets. School district budget decisions in the next month will have a profound impact on…

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What are teaching expectations during COVID-19 school closures

Educators, like many health and other essential workers are stepping up in remarkable ways to serve students and families. Jimmy Fallon said and sang it well on last night’s Tonight Show, Many Colorado educators spend far more time than they did a few months ago connecting with students remotely, on their porches or through phone…

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The Case for Social and Emotional Support Now- and Always in School

If ever there was a time to pay attention to how students are doing socially and emotionally in school, it would be now in what is likely to be the most disruptive societal change since World War II.   Millions of people are already out of work, our health care systems are overwhelmed, we are likely…

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Making Lemonade out of COVID-19 or Simply Surviving with Kids at Home

Families and kids are now faced with a new reality of school at home, not just for the next few weeks but likely for the rest of the school year. As this is a time of uncertainty and stress for most families, it could be a time to rethink what and how students can be…

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Teaching Empathy

Last month, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion on the “Teaching of Empathy” at the Denver Biennial of the Americas. It was a powerful reminder that the heart of teaching begins with empathy.  The Biennial is a magical gathering of artists and activist leaders from across the Americas that happens in Denver every…

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What is a good school in Colorado? And will Denver set a standard to ensure that students can read?

Discussions have been swirling at the state and district levels about school data and accountability over the last few months.  Accountability, for those who may not know, is a term for measuring how well a school is doing and what should be done or celebrated about these rankings. These discussions cut to the core of…

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Private School Vouchers, What’s The Point?

Last month, I had the pleasure of participating in a debate on private school vouchers in Chicago. The state of Illinois recently made a $100 million dollar bet to improve the educational outcomes for low-income students by establishing a tax credit scholarship program, that acts like a voucher, for low-income families to attend a private…

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Education Reform as We Know It Is Over. What Have We Learned?

As first appeared in Education Week as Education Reform as We Know It Is Over. What Have We Learned? on 4/25/2019. Reprinted with permission from the author. The education reform movement as we have known it is over. Top-down federal and state reforms along with big-city reforms have stalled. The political winds for education change…

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Think Bigger on Incentives to Close the Denver Achievement Gap

Teachers, the teacher union, district leaders, the school board and community leaders are unanimous in calling for an effort to close our deplorable achievement gap yet the outcome of the current teacher compensation impasse (and possible strike) will likely determine what happens to the achievement gap. We need to think far bigger about how we…

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