Despite Some Transparency, Arvada Website Comes Up a Little Short

Despite Some Transparency, Arvada Website Comes Up a Little Short

A local government’s website often is the front line of communication, giving residents both a first impression and a deeper basis to determine whether elected officials have effectively established confidence and trust. The City of Arvada has sought to put its best foot forward in some aspects of customer service and transparency. But a number of opportunities exist to improve the Arvada website and its usefulness to concerned taxpayers and other community residents. Analysis and suggestions are based on an informal site audit I performed on March 6-8. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

March 8: Week in Review

March 8: Week in Review

From the Independence Institute Ed Is Watching Blog More Time to Study the K-12 Testing Issue Would Be Greatly Beneficial School Choice Legislative Debates Spread Across Map; Time for Colorado Kids to Win Two Michigan Teachers Set Free of Union; Thousands More in Limbo Top Facebook Links of the Week That's Just WRONG: This Doughnut Shop Won't Sell Dougnuts Because They Are Too Unhealthy (Delish.com) Further Proving Colorado Senators Are Rubber Stamps: John Fund - A Radical Rejected (National Review) Playing Favorites with Tax Credits Equals Bad Policy: Gorman: One Man's Tax Preference is Another Man's Tax Burden (Greeley Tribune) Next Up... Math Optional?: SAT College-Entrance Exam's Essay Portion to Become Optional in 2016 … [Read more...]

March 1: Week in Review

March 1: Week in Review

I wrote an op-ed for the Greeley Tribune titled "School Boards Push Teacher Accountability":Union leaders are actively challenging school principals’ newfound authority to keep the worst teachers out of their classrooms. The state legislative majority has shrunk from the chance to reward the best teachers. But some local school boards have begun to take the reins of reform. More from the Independence Institute Ed Is Watching Blog “Student Success Act” or “Dingelhoffer”, Let’s Make Bolder School Finance Proposal Choice Media: Experts Set President Straight on School Voucher Research Claims Three Online Learning Items Blended Together for Your Friday Enjoyment Top Facebook Links of the Week Exposing the True Radicals: The War … [Read more...]

February 22: Week in Review

February 22: Week in Review

From the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Teacher Tenure and a Tale of Two Court Cases (Podcast) HB 1262 Incentive to Reform Educator Pay Certainly Has Caught My Attention (Ed Is Watching) A Beautiful Day to Celebrate Coming Major School Choice Victory in Mississippi (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America's Greatest Virtue by David J. Bobb: I picked up the book because of the author's Hillsdale College connection and my own acquaintance with him during my freshman year. Largely familiar with the stories of the five profiled American leaders, I nonetheless found the virtuous thread binding it together to be worthwhile and edifying. Top Social Media Links of the … [Read more...]

February 8: Week in Review

February 8: Week in Review

I offered recorded commentary for an American Family Radio News syndicated report on the Colorado Education Association's legal and legislative challenge of the state's 2010 tenure reform. More from the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Task Force Looks at Policy Answers for Online Learning (Podcast) Will President Obama Set Record Straight on How School Choice Has Helped Kids? (Ed Is Watching) Open Negotiations in Jeffco Schools? That Old Momentum Looks Like It’s Back (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #2) by Robert A. Caro: If you have a sensitive moral conscience, you also will need a hard stomach. But this second installment in Caro's intensely … [Read more...]

January 18: Week in Review

January 18: Week in Review

I wrote an op-ed for the Greeley Tribune titled "Education Spending Transparency Doesn't Require Massive Tax Hike":Giving Coloradans open government should be more than an applause line. Whatever reassurance skeptical voters may need, it’s not because officials have withheld financial information from online disclosure. The question is whether they have done enough. More from the Independence Institute I’ll Stick My Toe into the Fordham-Cato School Choice Argument… for Five Minutes (Ed Is Watching) Denver State’s New Largest School District; Falcon 49 Open Enrollment Soars (Ed Is Watching) School Funding at Forefront of K-12 Legislative Business (Podcast) Twitter Verse of the Week Joel 2:13 Return to the Lord your God, for he … [Read more...]

January 11: Week in Review

January 11: Week in Review

I was cited by Watchdog education reporter Mary Tillotson in her latest piece titled "New Orleans Tops School Choice Index":Closing unpopular schools contributed to the increase. A reform-minded majority on the school board probably helped the district implement choice-friendly policies such as the common application, said Ben DeGrow, senior education policy analyst at Colorado’s Independence Institute. More from the Independence Institute "If I've Told You Once": K-12 Financial Transparency Isn't New to Colorado (Ed Is Watching) Evidence Doesn't Back Keeping Kids "English Language Learners" Longer (Ed Is Watching) Amy Oliver Show: The Latest Colorado School Grades Are Out (Podcast) Finished Two Good(reads) Books This … [Read more...]

If Obama Didn’t Avoid Gettysburg…

Thank you for indulging me in a moment of satire. For more serious fare, you can read my review of the 2012 movie Lincoln, a brief reflection on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, and my recommended list of essential Lincoln books. News reports indicated that President Obama had opted to steer clear of the festivities surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. But at the last moment, searching desperately for some positive publicity to stimulate his flagging poll numbers, the Commander-in-Chief changed his mind. Quietly trying to stay out of the limelight, and pull off a public relations surprise, Obama and his contingent of senior staff and security boarded the high-speed … [Read more...]