May 10: Week in Review

May 10: Week in Review

Last weekend the temperature topped out in the 80s. The warm weather has helped to encourage the irises in our front yard that the time has come to bloom. Yet today we're looking down the barrel of a major snowstorm for a Mother's Day forecast. Welcome to springtime in Colorado! This week I was quoted in a Colorado Observer story about national teachers union leadership aligning with the "ultra-Left Democracy Alliance":“This revelation further validates the Douglas County school board’s insistence that the district and its taxpayers get out of the business of collecting funds for a national political agenda,” DeGrow said. “The AFT has aligned itself with a highly partisan clique that’s out of step with the values of many Dougco teachers … [Read more...]

May 3: Week in Review

May 3: Week in Review

In most respects, it wasn't a slow week. But as far as new published writings, it was downright quiet. Nonetheless, there are a few items to point out. From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Moms Lead Effort to Protect Student Privacy (Podcast) Denver Post: “Fundamental Fairness” in Jeffco Charter Student Funding Plan (Ed Is Watching) Outperforming International Peers: A Delicious Piece of Dougco PISA News Forget HB 1292 Transparency Soap Opera: Make it an Old Gangster Film Teachers vs. the Public on K-12 Education: Scratching the Surface Top Facebook Links of the Week Why Education Reform? Here's Why: Is Free Speech Endangered in America? (Powerline Blog) No Prerequisite for Basic Historical Literacy: … [Read more...]

April 26: Week in Review

April 26: Week in Review

Last weekend the Denver Post published my letter responding to the editorial asserting the version of the Student Success Act (HB 1292) that passed the House would make Colorado "a national leader in transparency." From the Ed is Watching blog: Hooray! Kansas Becomes 14th State to Adopt K-12 Scholarship Tax Credits Is It Time to Rethink the Colorado Department of Education’s Role? Could Stopping a Teachers Union Vote Make a New “Hammer” Celebrity? Finished One Good(read) Book This Week George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger: The subtitle may oversell the story, but it is a quick read that offers some interesting insights into the mechanics of 18th … [Read more...]

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...]