April 19: Week in Review

April 19: Week in Review

There's nothing like Holy Week and the joyous anticipation of our Savior's resurrection on Easter Sunday. Some of my favorite sacred songs and texts impress themselves deeply into the mind and heart during this special time of year (see below). But there were other more mundane matters to write about as well. From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Jeffco School Board Steps Forward (Podcast) Breath of Fresh Air: Teachers Stand Up Against Tenure Lawsuit, Union Bullying (Ed Is Watching) How to Avoid the Munchkins: A Little Tenure Reform Advice for Kansas (Ed Is Watching) Cheering for New Hampshire Kids to Win Their Day in (the Supreme) Court (Ed Is Watching) Large-Scale Class Size Reduction Doesn’t Work: More Moderation, … [Read more...]

April 12: Week in Review

April 12: Week in Review

Judging by the content posted here since last Saturday, it's been a fairly productive week of writing. Now for the rest of the update, as we await the results from the Colorado GOP Assembly. From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Greeley Dives into Blended Learning (Podcast) Another ADM Study? HB 1292 Student Success Act Soap Opera Plays Rerun (Ed Is Watching) School Choice Programs Growing Fast; Kansas Looks Like Next State to Join (Ed Is Watching) Testing, Data Issues around Common Core Alive and Kicking in Colorado (Ed Is Watching) Jeffco Board Makes More Money Follow Students, Brings a Jan Brady Smile (Ed Is Watching) Top Social Media Links of the Week Extensive Tweeting this week from Monday's open union … [Read more...]

Jeffco Union Should Honor Its Own Calls for Transparency

Jeffco Union Should Honor Its Own Calls for Transparency

The Jefferson County Education Association came to Monday’s contract negotiations with a plan to walk out, and they seized the moment. With discussions over compensation scarcely begun, JCEA negotiators stepped away from the bargaining table—and from transparency. This road has been traveled before. JCEA and other affiliates of Colorado’s largest teachers union have declared impasse more than once in recent years. …Read the rest of my article at Complete Colorado Page Two…. … [Read more...]

Transparency Struggles Persist at Thompson School District

Transparency Struggles Persist at Thompson School District

Transparency still comes with a hefty price tag in Thompson School District. Loveland resident and Liberty Watch co-founder Nancy Rumfelt filed a March 19 Colorado Open Records Act request for a little more than three months of school district emails including the names of school board members or the terms “reform” or “new school board majority.” She didn’t expect the request would bring a charge of $3,490. …Read the rest of my article at Complete Colorado Page Two…. … [Read more...]

April 5: Week in Review

April 5: Week in Review

Within hours on Sunday afternoon, two Michigan basketball teams seasons came to an end, falling just short of the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four. But a glorious silver lining quickly followed: Opening Day in Detroit on Monday, followed by Opening Day in Denver on Friday. Baseball is in the air, bringing the sweet smell of spring and of hope springing eternal for the loyal fans. Sports-wise, it's arguably the best time of the year. From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Commission Recommends Online Education Policy Improvements (Podcast) Colorado Ranks 21st in Per-Pupil Spending (and Other New Numbers from the NEA) (Ed Is Watching) New Independence Institute Ownership? Goodbye, Eddie; Hello, Little Ed Koch (Ed Is … [Read more...]

March 29: Week in Review

March 29: Week in Review

On Thursday I spent an hour live on air with Mike Rosen (AM 850 KOA) discussing open union negotiations and related issues in Jeffco Public Schools. More from the Independence Institute's Ed Is Watching Blog Colo. Digital Learning Policy Alternate Route Gives Some Spring Break Hope Opponents' Best Shot? Maybe Thompson Should Look at Innovating Educator Pay Watching Student Data Privacy Issue Means Not Watching Student Data Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton: The author quickly grips and engages the reader with the little-known mystery of a B-24 crew that was shot down in a 1944 bombing raid over Palau. Hylton weaves together the tales of … [Read more...]

Mesa 51 School Strategic Compensation Meeting Gets Unexpected Dose of Sunshine

Mesa 51 School Strategic Compensation Meeting Gets Unexpected Dose of Sunshine

Public exposure of one Western Slope school district’s formal discussion to change the educator pay system stirred a backlash from the leader of the local teachers union, a recent email message reveals. Rather than stay behind closed doors, the March 5 meeting of the Mesa Valley School District 51 strategic compensation committee made the front page of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the region’s largest newspaper. The appearance of an additional school board director triggered the open meetings law and thus made the gathering accessible to the media. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

March 22: Week in Review

March 22: Week in Review

On Thursday I was the featured guest (via Skype interview) for the 20-minute video episode of Choice Media TV's Reform School. Topics ranged from a teachers union contract that discriminates in favor of non-Christians to the recently reported shortcomings of the federal Race to the Top program. More From the Independence Institute Colorado Supreme Court Will Hear Dougco School Choice Case, More Waiting Ahead (Ed Is Watching) New York City Mayor's Attack on Charter Schools Enough to Give Me Nightmares (Ed Is Watching) Student Success Act Soap Opera Gears Up for Shift to Wilder Ride in Senate (Ed Is Watching) Amy Oliver Show: Are We Licensing Teachers Correctly? (Podcast) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Men at Work: The … [Read more...]

March 15: Week in Review

March 15: Week in Review

Beware the Ides of March, but no need to beware the king of desserts. This past week included a memorable office party because of a memorable cinnamon roll layer cake (see picture above). Happy birthday, Mike! From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Education Reform Under the Gold Dome (Podcast) Whoa… Are the Wheels Starting to Come Off Common Core in Colorado? (Ed Is Watching) Colorado Education’s Political Soap Opera Almost Makes Me Want to Change Channels (Ed Is Watching) Top Facebook Links of the Week Rich Food For Nuanced Political Thought: "Somewhat Conservative" Voters Are Real Driving Force in the GOP (Washington Examiner) My Alma Mater's Richest Pro Athlete Contract... Ever: Arizona Cardinals Sign Jared … [Read more...]