July 5: (Two) Week(s) in Review

July 5: (Two) Week(s) in Review

Last week the Virtus clan was on a mini-vacation in the Colorado mountains. With very little to miss, today's entry recaps the best of the past fortnight. Highlight? The Franklin Center shined its Citizen Spotlight on me and co-editor Joshua Sharf. Hope everyone had a Happy Independence Day! From the Ed Is Watching Blog Friedman Survey Finds Big Shift on Standardized Testing, Not to Mention…. Florida Doubles Number of States with Cutting-Edge Choice through ESAs Holyoke’s Pursuit of Innovation Status Raises Real Questions to Answer Finished One Good(read) Book This Fortnight Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars Zuckoff recaps … [Read more...]

June 21: Week in Review

June 21: Week in Review

As I type this, the season officially changes with the day's longest stretch of sunlight for 2014. It's officially summertime: What better way to kick it off then with a two-day garage sale? Lots of hassle. Net profit? $50. Glad I got that out of my system for quite awhile. From the Ed Is Watching blog Study Gives Another Jeffco Anti-Charter Myth a Serious Blow Title I Funds Closer to Following Colorado Kids after State Board Vote CER Completes Trifecta of Helpful Scholarship Tax Credit Studies Top Facebook Links of the Week Lamest Phony Political Apology Ever?: Governor Hickenlooper Reignites Mayor Bloomberg Controversy (Complete Colorado) School Board Takes Opportunity to Step Up: DPS Could Teach Jeffco a Lesson on … [Read more...]

Senators Chastise NFL’s Redskins, Ignore Colo. High School Redskins

Senators Chastise NFL’s Redskins, Ignore Colo. High School Redskins

Both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators have publicly called for a professional sports team in the nation’s capital to renounce a mascot deemed offensive by some. But if a Colorado high school opts to renounce the same nickname, local leaders will have done so without yet having heard from their elected leaders in Washington, D.C. …Read the rest of my article at Watchdog Wire Colorado…. … [Read more...]

May 17: Week in Review

May 17: Week in Review

This week the Greeley Tribune published my column on the progress Colorado is making -- and still needs to make -- in order to ensure fair funding for public charter schools. More from the Independence Institute Amy Oliver Show: Charter Schools Look for Fairer Funding (Podcast) Amy Oliver Show: An Outside Look at Douglas County Reform (Podcast) How Can Jeffco Union Leaders' Bad Faith Bargaining Be Good for Kids? (Ed Is Watching) International Report Shines Light on Colorado Education Performance Gap (Ed Is Watching) So Glad to Find Insights and Direction for HB 1382's K-12 Online Pilot Programs (Ed Is Watching) Finished One Good(read) Book This Week Life After Art: What You Forgot about Life and Faith since Leaving the Art … [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 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...]

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...]

February 15: Week in Review

February 15: Week in Review

I was quoted in School Reform News regarding the Colorado Education Association's legal and legislative challenge of the state's 2010 tenure reform. More from the Independence Institute Jeffco Teachers Union Takes Political Spectacle from Boardroom into Classrooms (Ed Is Watching) State Debate on How to Spend Extra Education Dollars Has Me Twisted in Knots (Ed Is Watching) Top Facebook Links of the Week If You're Open to Hearing the Truth: Jefferson County school district controversy (Velocity Radio) Pitchers and Catchers Report, Life is Good: MVP Cabrera says he's stronger after surgery (ESPN) We Conservative Writers Can (sort of) Imagine, Too: Writers tend to the Left because they have imagination, not compassion … [Read more...]

Of Mondays and Desperate Causes

On Saturday night I watched in dread as Magglio Ordonez slid into home plate, was tagged out... but never got up. Quickly confirmed to have a fractured ankle, he had to be aided off the field. The number three hitter in my Detroit Tigers lineup, swinging the bat well again after a forgettable 2009, gone for 6 to 8 weeks (2B Carlos Guillen landed on the 15-day disabled list after the same game). A mere matter of days before the non-waiver trade deadline. A season that on the cusp of the All-Star break looked like it could be promising... you can just about write it off now. A month ago relief pitching sensation Joel Zumaya broke his arm and finished his season while pitching against Minnesota. Less than a week ago third baseman Brandon … [Read more...]