Category Archives: Uncategorized

Union Files Lawsuit Against Community Decision

On Friday, May 10, the Pueblo Education Association, the local affiliate of the Colorado Education Association for Pueblo School District No. 60, moved to legally challenge an April Colorado State Board of Education decision to allow an outside management company to run the struggling Risley International Academy of Innovation. State Board Chair Angelika Schroeder criticized the union’s actions on Tuesday, calling them disappointing and maintaining that it is in effect shifting attention away from where the focus ought to be: on improving student outcomes.

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Homeschool Day at the Capitol

Yesterday, the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC) held its annual Homeschool Day at the Capitol. Several hundred parents and students were in attendance for this event, which began with a visit of the Capitol and culminated with a rally on the west steps. Colorado’s unpredictable April weather happened to cooperate, as the bright blue skies and trees in full bloom made for a perfect setting for all the day’s activities, which included a costumed fife and drum corps parade around the perimeter of the State Capitol Building.

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SB 191 Under Attack?

It ought to go without saying that an effective public education system should seek to identify classroom instructors who are successful and those who are not in order to reward and incentivize the former and to correct the latter. This was ostensibly the aim of the 2010 Senate Bill 191, the provisions of which continue to find themselves under near-constant attack nearly a decade after Gov. Ritter signed it into law.

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A+ Colorado Releases New Brief about DPS Unified Enrollment

Colorado has been a national leader in terms of accessible school choice. The brief by A+ Colorado, School Choice with Unified Enrollment, examines both the opportunities and challenges school choice has offered families in Denver. The district moved to a unified choice enrollment platform in 2012.

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How Federal Programs Support Private K-12 Students and Teachers

Federal law requires that private K-12 schools have access to federally funded “equitable services” through their local school districts. Our most recent paper outlines the various services and funding available to private schools and provides real Colorado examples of how private schools participate in federal programs.

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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!

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How Do We Stop Bullying and Violence in Schools?

Most of us remember where we were on the day of the Columbine massacre—almost two decades ago. How Do We Stop Bullying and Violence in Schools? Like so many of the challenges within K-12 education, it is a complex subject.

The Independence Institute recently hosted a presentation by two organizations that are making a difference. Jennie Jarratt, project manager of The Heartland’s Institute’s Center for Transforming Education and Rob Unger, CEO of Rachel’s Challenge provided us with statistics, policy recommendations, and highlights of a prevention program that is saving lives.

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Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Releases Report on Colorado’s Blaine Clauses

A newly released report entitled “The Colorado Constitution’s No Aid To Sectarian Institutions Clause and its Impact on Civil Rights,” examines the origins of the Colorado Constitution’s No Aid Clause (known as Blaine Amendments), and the historical and modern applications.

The report was authored by members of the Colorado Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Independence Institute’s Research Director, David Kopel, serves on the committee as the Vice-Chair.

Nineteenth century Blaine clauses banned public dollars from supporting sectarian-religious organizations which society viewed unfavorably, including Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, and Islam. Mainstream Protestant denominations were not considered to be sectarian.

The report details how the clause impacts civil rights in education, students with disabilities, higher education scholarships, and lists eight state-funded voucher-like programs that provide funding for programs at religious institutions.

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Let’s Celebrate National Employee Freedom Week!

This week is National Employee Freedom Week and there is certainly reason to celebrate! On June 27, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court released hundreds of thousands of non-union public employees from the burden of paying agency fees via the Janus v. AFSCME decision.

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Thank You Tom Boasberg

After nearly ten years of service, education leader Tom Boasberg has resigned from his role as superintendent of Denver Public Schools (DPS). Under his leadership DPS has thrived and gained national attention and respect.

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