Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Two very Different Views on Modest PERA Reform

Remember the teacher walkouts this spring? Senate Bill 18-200 was one of several reasons why the teacher unions held rallies at the State Capitol Building. Learn more about the bipartisan legislation that Governor Hickenlooper has signed into law and read two very different views on its impact.

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Microsoft Study Sheds Light on the Lack of Females in STEM Careers

When considering why young women are less likely to pursue a STEM career or education, a study by Microsoft may shed some light.

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Demand for Scholarships Crashes Website

Last year Illinois passed a scholarship tax credit program. The demand was so high for scholarships, the number of applications crashed the website. Meanwhile, opponents run a bill to kill the program.

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Student Shares Her School Choice Story

During National School Choice Week, the youngest member of the Independence Institute Education Policy Center’s team, Arrupe Jesuit High School Junior, Diana De La Rosa, had her first op-ed published in a Colorado newspaper.

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House Bill 17-1375 Moves Colorado Up in Charter Law Rankings

Just today, I was awarded “most creative in the household” for my crayon depiction of my mom on the living room wall. Though it seems like she had some mixed feelings about my work, it’s still nice to be acknowledged. Being distinguished for your hard work and triumph is rewarding–which is why charter school advocates in Colorado should feel good that the Centennial State was ranked as having the second-best charter school laws in the nation by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) in its recent report titled Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter School Laws, 2018. The NAPCS’ ranking system utilizes 21 criteria that define their ideal charter school laws. The better a state’s laws clearly align with the NACPS’ model standards, the higher the state is rated. The criteria stress autonomy, clarity, responsibility, and several other facets commonly emphasized in charter school laws. The only state ranked higher than Colorado was Indiana, which retained its number-one spot from 2017. House Bill 17-1375–which created the potential of $ 34 million in additional funding from mill levy overrides for charter schools–served as the predominant factor that lifted Colorado up from the NAPCS’ rankings number […]

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Charter School Champion Becomes Headmaster of Liberty Common School

Last week was National School Choice Week but today we are still celebrating! Our friend, The Honorable Bob Schaffer, has been appointed to the position of Headmaster of Liberty Common School, a charter school in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Liberty Common School is one of the top public schools in the entire state. Bob Schaffer was a champion for school choice while he served as a state legislator and in Congress. We congratulate Bob on his new position! I like to continue to celebrate school choice!  

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Colorado Union Censors Independent Teacher Voice

To prepare for their role in the upcoming election, the Colorado Education Association (CEA) sent out a survey to find out what their members want from their ideal future governor. Well, maybe we should say CEA’s ideal governor, as the survey questions featured an unabashed favoritism of anti-reform measures and a lack of alternatives for those who want to express their support of reforms, as shown below: In this survey, there is no option for those who support anything the union opposes. The questions are loaded to skew the responses in a single direction; even if one tried to mark “other,” the survey mandates two responses per question, forcing the answerer to agree with at least something that the union desires. Any educator not in complete compliance with the CEA will have a hard time taking this survey without sacrificing their values, that is of course considering that they don’t want the CEA to define their values for them. This poll will give way to nothing but a confirmation bias for the union, and is blatantly unmindful of Colorado’s educators who support education reform and see the positive influence various reforms have made such as charter schools. It’s equivalent to […]

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National School Choice Week 2018

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2018 National School Choice Week, one of the most fun and joyful weeks of the year for us school choice supporters. Throughout the course of this week, there will be gatherings, speeches, parades, and numerous other events held to celebrate all forms of choice in education. In Colorado specifically, there we be a variety of events held around the state. My friends at the Independence Institute and their partner organizations are holding an event in Denver on Saturday for families to celebrate school choice and to learn about scholarship organizations that help low-income children attend private schools. You are welcome to join us! In Colorado Springs, our friends from Parents Challenge have organized an event at City Hall on Wednesday. They would love to see you too!   This week, it’s important to remember that school choice is about giving every child the opportunity to succeed and reach their best self–not political partisanship. There is no one universal truth or omnipotent solution in education; each option provides a distinguished benefit or focus that may or may not be the best fit approach to teaching a particular student the critical thinking and academic skill set they […]

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