Latest on K-12 issues

Back-to-Back: Durango, Pueblo Papers Weigh In for Open Negotiations

Anyone who has been a reader of this blog for any length of time knows that I’m a big fan of open negotiations. When school board representatives and the leaders of employee groups sit down to discuss how huge chunks of taxpayer-funded K-12 budgets are spent, and set policies that affect classrooms, we’re better off [...]

It Says What? Facts, Fiction, and NEA’s Foot-in-Mouth Disorder

Everyone suffers from foot-in-mouth disorder at some point in their lives. You know the situation: You’re in the middle of an important conversation, things are going well, and you’re looking pretty smart.  Then, with no warning at all, you blurt out something silly. Maybe it was offensive, confidential, or ill-advised. Or maybe it was just [...]

“What Are People Thinking” about Education? PEPG Makes It Pay to Know

Sometimes you see or hear about some crazy behavior out there, and somewhat aghast, you ask aloud or think: “What are people thinking?” Other times, you’re just curious about the opinions of those adults around you who can affect important issues, and it’s just: “I wonder… what are people thinking?” My faithful fans know that [...]

No Excuses: STRIVE to Do Better

One day not so long ago, my father sat me down for one of his famous heart-to-heart chats. I’d done poorly on a math quiz (it turns out that two plus two does not equal a picture of a dragon eating a stick figure), and I knew I was in big trouble. But he didn’t [...]

Liberty Common Shatters ACT Test Record; State TCAPs Less Inspiring

Yesterday brought a big data dump from the Colorado Department of Education, and it’s nothing that is going to get the rest of the nation ooh-ing and aah-ing about where we’re headed. When aggregate scores for 3rd to 10th graders in all three subject areas dip half a point, clearly far more is getting measured [...]

Chieftain Highlights Institute’s Billboard Message to Pueblo Teachers

The Pueblo Chieftain features coverage of a special Independence Institute billboard message notifying local teachers of their limited opportunity to avoid paying union membership or non-member “representation” fees.

BFFs of the Court: Chiming in for Choice in Douglas County

Court briefs are terrifying to kids like me. They are long, complicated, and governed by a system of rules in which words like “pagination” and “certiorari” are commonplace. And, in a cruelly ironic twist, they are anything but “brief.” Worse still, they have absolutely no pictures. To be honest, I look at most legal briefs [...]

Billboard Alerts Teachers to Union Deadline

A new Independence Institute billboard in Pueblo tells teachers about their limited opportunity to stop paying money to the union, while a new poll released today by the Independence Institute shows more than 82 percent of Coloradans support allowing union employees to leave their union without force or penalty.

Pueblo Teachers (& other K-12 Employees): Options to Get Union Money Back End Sept. 15

A new billboard in Pueblo shares a special local message for National Employee Freedom Week. Teachers and other local school district employees only have until September 15 to make important membership-related decisions that could save them more than $700 for the 2014-15 school year.

Evaluation Valuation: Goals, Issues, and Questions for the Coming Year

To students like me, teachers are mythical creatures. Sure, I see them every day, but I can’t see behind the proverbial curtain. I don’t know how they judge their success or failure in different areas, how well they are serving their students as a whole, or how they communicate information about their teaching performance to [...]