Latest on K-12 issues

How to Avoid the Munchkins: A Little Tenure Reform Advice for Kansas

The teachers union may have ordered the death of its own bill to weaken mutual consent for teacher placement. But HB 1268‘s twin, the CEA’s lawsuit to enshrine tenure protections as a state constitutional right, lives on. Meanwhile, a glimpse across the eastern border reveals the winds surrounding this debate are blowing in a very [...]

Large-Scale Class Size Reduction Doesn’t Work: More Moderation, Please

A wise person once told me: Everything in moderation… including moderation. I’ve spent years trying to make complete sense out of that, but the point is some people can go overboard with certain ideas. That’s just as true in the education policy arena as anywhere else. One of those discussions surrounds the happy talk of [...]

The Truth About Class Size Reduction: Problems, Examples, and Alternatives

Throughout the United States, class size reduction (CSR) is heralded as an effective way to improve academic outcomes. However, the research surrounding the effects of CSR is inconclusive at best. It is often difficult to determine the reliability of the studies conducted on the topic, and much of the research wavers between small, temporary academic gains in certain student groups and no gains at all.

Amy Oliver Show: Greeley Dives into Blended Learning

Judy Bauernschmidt from the Colorado eLearning Collaborative talks about the unfolding project in Greeley Public Schools that will bring blended learning school models across the district over the next several years.

School Choice Programs Growing Fast; Kansas Looks Like Next State to Join

If 2011 was christened the Year of School Choice, what should we call 2013? At the time that year dawned, I worried that it wouldn’t exactly be smooth sailing. But given the recent news headlined by the release of the Alliance for School Choice’s annual yearbook, it must be that even my young, healthy eyes [...]

Jeffco Board Makes More Money Follow Students, Brings a Jan Brady Smile

Once upon a time, say two years ago, I felt the heat for focusing a lot of extra attention on a certain large school district between Denver and Colorado Springs. You could almost hear a number of nearby Jan Bradys crying out in frustration: “Dougco, Dougco, Dougco!” Back then I said: But hey, don’t complain [...]

Amy Oliver Show: Commission Recommends Online Education Policy Improvements

Matt Samelson from the Donnell-Kay Foundation talks about a legislative-backed commission’s new policy recommendations to help improve online learning experiences for Colorado’s K-12 students.

Yes, Fordham, Colorado School Boards Matter; Let’s Encourage True Local Control

A long, long two-and-a-half years ago I shared with you my thoughts about school boards going the way of the horse and buggy. The article written by education reform senior statesman Checker Finn prompted me to weigh in: Unlike many other areas of education reform, this is one in which Colorado would not figure to [...]

New Independence Institute Ownership? Goodbye, Eddie; Hello, Little Ed Koch

Change is hard, especially when you’ve been 5 years old for so long like I have. But it can be good, too. Some of you may have seen today’s important news release from the Independence Institute about their new arrangement: Under the terms of the agreement the Koch brothers have invested an undisclosed amount of [...]

Colorado Ranks 21st in Per-Pupil Spending (and Other New Numbers from the NEA)

The month of March is getting ready to go out. Not exactly sure it’s like a lamb. But there is one report released this month that some in Colorado’s education-industrial complex would just as soon see put out to pasture. The National Education Association has released its annual “Rankings and Estimates” publication, which compares the [...]