Labor

NEA: Colorado Falls from 21st to 22nd in Per-Pupil Spending – Sound the Alarms!

The bad news? Today is one of those days when little Eddie is going to be a broken record. The good news? This will be brief and to the point. Go back in your mind all the way to last March, a whole year ago. The National Education Association — the nation’s largest teachers union [...]

What’s a “Bedfellow”? New Article Takes a Look at Weird Alliances and Tenure Reform

Late last year, I wrote about the sticky testing issue knot. After a series of weird events on the State Board of Education and the early prospect of a strange alliance between Republicans and teachers unions during the ill-fated effort to reauthorize ESEA, we may be looking at more of a sticky testing issue black [...]

K-12 Bureaucratic Barriers a Problem? Who Ya’ Gonna Call? Cage-Busters!

It’s not a completely unfair characterization to suggest that a specialty for 5-year-old boys is busting things. Or at least enjoying watching others bust things. This post won’t help disabuse anyone of that impression. Last week I cheered to see Marcus Winters flex his charter school myth-busting muscles. Today I bring your attention to a [...]

How Do We Get the Student Data Coin to Land on Both Sides?

Have you ever had a day where it just seemed like “Heads they win, Tails you lose”? On those days it may not seem like it, but the truth remains that there are two sides to the coin. (And no, I’m not talking about the coin flip required in Jeffco’s union contract to determine which [...]

Devil’s Advocate: The Education Elephant in the Room

Dr. Donna Nicholson and Dr. Karen Kay Harveydiscuss their new book, Sacred Elephants: The Catastrophic Crisis in Education Impacting the Decline of America. How is our education system failing our kids today?

The State of K-12 Union Contract Transparency

More than a decade before Proposition 104 shone a light on the negotiation process, the General Assembly required that the negotiation product should be made available using online technology. Lacking any sort of enforcement mechanism, a significant minority of bargaining school districts have fallen short of the basic expectation, though persistent reminders helped in many cases. Given the experience with union contract transparency, citizens should not take for granted full compliance with the letter and spirit of the new open negotiations law.

Amy Oliver Show: Veteran Educators Take On K-12 Sacred Elephants

Veteran educators and Sacred Elephants co-authors Karen Harvey and Donna Nicholson share their diagnosis of what’s ailing our schools and offer solutions to get us back on the right path.

Harrison: More About Real Performance Pay than Former Presidents

What kind of a holiday is Presidents Day anyway? For many kids, it’s just a great excuse to stay home from school. Speaking of which, yours truly decided to dig up eight little factoids about Colorado public schools named after former U.S. presidents: Hardly a shock, “Lincoln” is the most popular presidential school name with [...]

Performance Pay Pioneers: Harrison’s “Effectiveness and Results” Raises the Bar

Colorado’s 2010 educator effectiveness reform has improved the K-12 public school system’s capability to distinguish the quality of instruction. One school district has gone further than any other in taking the next logical step: differentiating teacher pay based on effectiveness. Launched in 2010, Harrison School District 2’s Effectiveness and Results (E&R) program grew out of former superintendent Mike Miles’ intense focus on boosting achievement among a challenging student population. E&R uses both a revamped professional evaluation tool and multiple measures of academic growth, balancing rigor and a firm belief in individual teacher accountability for student results with the need to ensure fairness and accuracy. Political will and leadership are needed to duplicate this approach elsewhere. The more Harrison can demonstrate the source of its success, the easier that decision will be.

Tom Coyne Smart Jeffco Whistle Bomb

Every now and then, an op-ed drops from the sky like one of those whistle bombs in the movies. The resulting explosion gets folks all riled up, and usually leads to some highly entertaining (though not terribly productive) conversations. Today is one of those days, with a Denver Post op-ed that sees Jeffco’s Tom Coyne outlining [...]