Labor

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 [...]

Testing Issue Isn’t as Easy as “1, 2, 3,” But You’ve Got to Start Somewhere

Have you ever watched a big person prepare to do some public speaking behind a microphone? Or maybe you’ve done it yourself. Almost always, when someone asks if the microphone is working, the person leans into the device and says something like, “Testing, testing… 123, testing.” Well, I’m worried that little rote phrase may take [...]

Little Eddie’s Wet Blanket: What Rise in Teacher ACT-SAT ScoresTells Us

Earlier this week, we talked about a National Council on Teacher Quality report on teacher pension systems. Today, we get to talk about an article from the Hechinger Report regarding the “quality” of teachers entering the teaching force as measured by scores on the SAT and ACT. The article highlights some new research that supposedly [...]

Ding Ding Ding! JCEA’s Round Two Battleflop

Not too long ago, John Ford of the Jefferson County Education Association told us that “the fight would start in January.” I wrote about his inspiring speech recently, but here’s the video in case you forgot: And if that weren’t enough to get this little guy scared, Complete Colorado broke the story that he’s been [...]

JCEA Says the Fight Is On, So It Doesn’t Hurt for Me to Stay in Shape

My Grandpa occasionally likes to watch boxing on TV, something he once told me was a “stress reliever.” My dad says when he was younger, he used to have a punching bag in the basement that he would use for working out, maybe for some of the same purposes. I’m still only 5 years old, [...]