Blogs

Gamblin’ for Children

My father always told me that nothing says “kid-friendly” like a day of gamblin’ at the ol’ horse track. Coloradans for Better Schools, the backers of Initiative 135, agree. And just this week, it was reported that the initiative has received enough signatures to appear on the ballot in November. Everyone, say hello to Amendment [...]

Let’s Grow Colorado K-12 Course Access But NOT Reinvent the Wheel

Give me Legos, Play-doh, or just a pile of rocks and sticks, and I’ll create something. If you want to know what some of my crazy inventions have been, just ask my poor mom. But let me tell you one thing I haven’t tried to do, and that’s reinvent the wheel. I’m sure the members [...]

1000s Embrace Florida K-12 Choice: When Can Colorado Kids Win, Too?

I hope you haven’t forgotten about helping Colorado Kids Win (including giving the Facebook page a “Like”). After all, it’s been two whole weeks since I’ve reminded you about the benefits of K-12 scholarship tax credits that our state’s kids could really use. And you know that this particular little kid will use almost any [...]

Overconfidence, Low Expectations, Little Innovation: Not a Good Mixture

Remember that clip from the ages-old education documentary Waiting for Superman, where we’re told that American students are behind the pack in math in almost any way you measure it, except for one: Yes, when it comes to students’ classroom confidence (“I get good marks in mathematics”), a much different story emerges: The USA is [...]

Can’t Get Enough Productivity: Charter Schools Doing More with Less

If “productivity” is really a dirty word for education, as some critics would like us to believe, maybe that explains why I feel the overwhelming urge to write about it for the second time in less than a week. A kind of “forbidden fruit” thing, you know. Or maybe the connection just was too easy [...]

Argue Policy, Not Philosophy

Some things don’t mix well. Mustard and chocolate cake, seafood and ice cream, bacon and vegetables—all of these make me wrinkle my nose. As it turns out, hard-nosed philosophy and education policy also do not make a good pair. Last week, Andy Smarick wrote about the problems that arise when philosophical views collide with education [...]

Douglas County, Falcon 49, Eaton Top Colorado in K-12 Productivity

For some people, the term “productivity” doesn’t belong in K-12 education discussions. They think it’s too scary because it sounds like businesses that make money by selling goods or services. And we know that while education could learn a few more things from the competitive world of independent businesses, the two spheres don’t perfectly equate. [...]

Blended Learning Takes Flight in Colo. Districts: How High Will It Soar?

The great blended learning experiment continues its historic ascension in our beautiful Rocky Mountain state. Independence Institute education senior fellow Krista Kafer has documented it better than anyone. Last year it was The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning in Colorado. Apparently, the not-so-long-ago, cutting-edge sphere of blended learning has not just made it past the [...]

Can Someone Help Me Understand this Third Way on Masters Bumps?

It’s been awhile, but one of my favorite K-12 topics to share with you is the need to change the practice of automatic pay raises for master’s degrees. As recently as 2011, the high-quality research was unanimous (34-0) on the ineffectiveness of awarding teachers masters degrees. As recently as last month, it remains “one of [...]

Union Leaders Miss Bus as Union Bus (Thankfully) Misses Me

Usually I’m reluctant to cross into the intersection of education policy and national politics. But when I do, I lean heavily on the trusted big people in my life to walk me across the busy lanes of scary-looking traffic. The aftermath of the NEA Assembly in Denver is one of those times when I’m reaching [...]