Labor

The Unfair Retirement PERA-chute: New Group Pushes for Pension Reform

Happy Friday, readers. I know we’ll all be starting our weekends in a few hours, but I think there’s time to squeeze in just a little more education policy before then. Today’s topic: reform efforts centered on Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). I’ve written about PERA and some of its pitfalls before, but let’s [...]

Dangerous Decoration: How Much is Too Much for the Classroom?

My English classroom has a fish in it. No, not a real fish. A fish sticker. A shiny fish sticker with glittery scales, blue eyes, and an intriguingly amused expression on his (her?) face. Sometimes it feels like the fish sticker is staring at me. Have you ever tried reading or writing with a shiny [...]

Two New Columns Bring Us Back to Reality in Jeffco Public Schools

It’s time to cut through the fog. Pieces of misinformation about the Jeffco school board have become so rampant that, even with your low-beams on, you’re bound to run into one or two of them. To deny the concentrated campaign of union field-tested talking points has been effective at increasing the numbers and volume of [...]

Education Reform Times May Be A-Changin’, But Not for All

A long time ago, during an era known as “The Sixties,” there was a popular song called “The Times They Are a-Changin’”. Or so my Grandpa tells me. Apparently, it’s a sort of iconic piece about all the upheaval that was starting during this distant past. I have to say it’s a catchy tune, too. [...]

A Show in Jeffco: Last Week’s Meeting and What Lies Ahead

As you may recall, I went to a party last Thursday night. Sadly, I didn’t find the snacks I was promised (though not for lack of trying). What I did find was a relatively small room absolutely packed with cameras, tension, and people wearing cheaply designed custom t-shirts. And snacks or no snacks, I got [...]

Falling Membership Decline Begs Question: Is Time on the NEA’s Side?

Time is not on my side today, which means I have only a few moments to write something. Which is interesting. Because as Mike Antonucci reports, time doesn’t seem to be on the side of the National Education Association, either: Officers of the National Education Association expressed some optimism last July that the union’s falling [...]

Izard, DeGrow Point Out Union Role in Jeffco Protests

The teacher sickouts and student walkouts in Jefferson County have drawn national headlines, but the true reasons behind the action have not received as much play. A national Reuters story explaining the Jeffco school board’s October 2 vote to create a more inclusive and transparent curriculum review process features insights into the manufactured controversy provided […]

Big Screen TVs and Backward Protests: Pass the Popcorn, JCEA

If you haven’t heard the news, boys and girls, there’s going to be quite a party in Jefferson County tonight. And it sounds like it’s going to be a biggin: Turnout is expected to be so high that the teachers’ union plans to stream video from the meeting room — which holds a couple hundred [...]

Jefferson County’s Ongoing Case of the Blue Flu

Whatever Jeffco’s teachers have, it seems to be pretty contagious. First it spread like wildfire through two high schools, then it infected thousands of Jeffco high school students. Now, it’s made its way to teachers in two more schools. We should probably start making warning posters: “The blue flu is active in this area. Symptoms [...]

More Research Could Highlight Real Promise of Blended Learning

Today seemed like a good day to get out of the hot kitchen and look at a topic I haven’t addressed in awhile: blended learning. You know what I mean. According to the Clayton Christensen Institute, it’s: a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning, with some [...]