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

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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


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…

Continue Reading …


Can We Finally Fix Colorado’s Broken School Finance System?

In spite of the largest blue wave to hit Colorado in many decades, voters turned down Amendment 73, the tax measure to increase funding to public education. How can this be? Many school districts across the state are clearly struggling for funds. Few have full-day kindergarten for all students. Colorado currently has one of the…

Continue Reading …


Denver’s SPF: Promise Kept, Now Time for Version 2.0

Denver Public Schools (DPS) kept the promise made last winter to repair the mistakes made on the 2017 School Performance Framework (SPF) and to raise the bar for what makes a high quality school.  We thank DPS for its leadership and willingness to make corrections to better reflect student learning across the district. DPS remedied…

Continue Reading …


What I Did on My Summer Vacation

My summer vacation took me to Berlin, Germany for several weeks to better understand the culture, art and history of this remarkable city in late August. While I was focused on taking a break from education, I couldn’t help but reflect on how Berlin has been shaped by education while I enjoyed the art, music…

Continue Reading …


Janus Could Help Make Teacher Unions Stronger, Not Weaker

Many on the right and left believe that the Janus Supreme Court decision will have a significant impact on reducing the teacher union role in public education and union political power in general. The decision overrules a former Supreme Court decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, in 1977 that held that (primarily blue states) public…

Continue Reading …