It’s National School Choice Week!!!
Today I joined fellow students at the Colorado State Capitol Building to watch the legislative process! It was really cool because I heard a legislator talk about National School Choice Week! I even met a real live legislator named Senator John Cooke from Weld County. He is really tall! Before he was a state senator he was the Weld County Sheriff. My friend, and intern at the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center, Grace Atchison-Reynolds, wrote a spectacular op-ed about her own school choice story. Also, in celebration of National School Choice Week, Grace starred in a video! Once again the National Alliance for Charter Public Schools ranked Colorado 2nd for the best charter school laws. I was hoping we would take first this year but maybe we will next year! It is the time of year when many students open enroll into a public school other than their neighborhood school. You can learn more by going to SchoolChoiceforKids.org Enjoy celebrating school choice! You have three more days to celebrate!
New Colorado Report Reveals Public School Open Enrollment Trends
Colorado has been a leader in public school choice for decades. Legislative bills to allow students to cross neighborhood school zones and school district boundaries were first introduced in the late 1980s. Legislation passed in 1990 and 1994 to open the doors to a new public school choice frontier.
Ready Colorado, an education reform organization, recently published a first-of-its-kind report about Colorado’s public school open enrollment system.
Jeffco Looks at Offering More Choice
As more innovative education models emerge, school districts must adapt and provide competitive education options to retain students, or face the threat of diminishing enrollment. The Jefferson County school district is currently encountering this exact problem. In recent years, it has seen a declining trend in enrollment–largely due to the emergence of nearby “choice” schools. To combat the loss of students to innovative schools such as the Denver School of the Arts, Jeffco has begun the conceptualization and appraisal of a new, specialized art school for the district. The “arts academy” would be a terrific effort to integrate more choice into the district, and to allow students to pursue “customized pathways.” I wonder if it’ll have a finger-painting class? The district is also considering reconstructing one of its existing schools, Pennington Elementary. The renovation would likely incorporate an expeditionary education model; however, an expeditionary model is not a set-in-stone solution. Though the school is open to the idea and has shown excitement, there is still time and opportunity for other proposals. In a recent article, Chalkbeat Colorado noted that the “[Jefferson County] officials said they want to have a searchable site where families can enter a program-type they are interested in to […]