Accountability

On Pay for Performance and Using the Right Yardstick

Pay for performance (PFP) is an incredibly hotly debated facet of education reform. I’ve never really quite understood that because, well, rewarding folks for doing great work strikes me as common sense. I mean, I get more allowance money if I do my chores well, and not so much if I “clean my room” by [...]

Friday Decisions: A Furry Friend, Sneak-onomics, and Extra Ice Cream!

Yesterday the Colorado Department of Education released CMAS science and social studies test results. It’s only the second year the test has been given (science to 5th and 8th graders, social studies to 4th and 7th graders), so you can’t read too much into the trend lines. The bottom line is that scores are up [...]

Senate Passes Bipartisan NCLB Rewrite

On Tuesday, we visited the faraway land of U.S. Congress, where the U.S. House recently (and narrowly) passed a sweeping reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind. I had planned on using today’s post to offer a brief update on the U.S. Senate’s ongoing NCLB reauthorization efforts [...]

Catching Up on Testing, Transparency, Accountability, Innovation… and More

If it seems like the middle of summer is a good time for me to catch up — well, that’s because it is. It took me a fairly long time to come down from my adrenaline rush that accompanied the high-stakes game of legislative testing chicken. Like any legislative compromise, the final version of House [...]

ESEA Reauthorization Grinds Forward in Congress

Colorado’s education scene is so interesting—and the federal education scene so ugly—that I rarely feel the need to drag our conversations beyond our state’s borders. Yet sometimes we have to force ourselves to look at what’s going on inside the Beltway, especially when the federal sausage-making process has the potential to touch Colorado in a [...]

PARCC’s Plummet

Despite valiant efforts, I was unable to find a nice, neat, uplifting Friday education story for us to talk about today. That’s kind of a good thing, though. Pressing issues like the Jeffco recall-oisseurs’ inability to tell the truth have distracted us from a large education policy discussion backlog. Today we’re going to nibble on [...]

PARCC’s Plummet

Despite valiant efforts, I was unable to find a nice, neat, uplifting Friday education story for us to talk about today. That’s kind of a good thing, though. Pressing issues like the Jeffco recall-oisseurs’ inability to tell the truth have distracted us from a large education policy discussion backlog. Today we’re going to nibble on [...]

A Little Rain on the Graduation Rate Parade

What’s in a number? If you’re talking about educational choice, numbers like the ones coming out of Arrupe Jesuit High School can be beacons of hope for tough populations of kids. In other cases, numbers can convey more concerning trends. And in still other cases, numbers can be rigged in such a way that they [...]

State Board Resignation Raises Eyebrows

I wanted to do a fun Friday story today. I really did. But duty calls, and we need to talk about something important in Colorado education: The resignation of Chairwoman Marcia Neal from the Colorado State Board of Education. Many of you are already familiar with Marcia, but here’s a quick bio for those of [...]

Drumroll, Please: The Great Testing Debate of 2015 Nears Conclusion

This is it, my friends. We have entered the final phase of the Great Testing Debate of 2015 as the legislature speeds toward the finish line. We’ve been talking about testing since the session began back in January (and even before then), but it looks like we’re nearing the end of the discussion. While we [...]