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Power Technical: Preparing Educated and Ethical Leaders in the Trades

It’s national school choice week, and this year the annual celebration of school choice coincides with the release of the Independence Institute’s latest charter school profile.

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Oral Arguments in the Montana School Choice Case are Today

Today, in fact right now, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to finally hear the oral arguments in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which the Court agreed to hear back in June of last year. In 2015, lawmakers in Montana moved to make their state the 18thin the nation to offer tax credits for private donations made to a state-based private school tuition voucher program. The following year, the program was halted by overzealous regulators at the state’s department of revenue who invoked the Montana constitution’s Blaine Amendment to bar scholarship recipients from using these funds at religious schools. A group of plaintiffs comprised of parents wishing to send their children to religious private schools challenged the Department of Revenue rule and so began the case now before the Supreme Court. The parents’ argument was that the rule that effectively invalidate the program was unconstitutional under both the Montana and the United States Constitutions as it violated their right to free exercise of religion. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer not long prior, the Montana State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Department of Revenue administrative rule. The case […]

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Free Movie Screening: Miss Virginia

The Independence Institute will be hosting a free, public screening of Miss Virginia… 

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Deadline for Teachers to Receive Up to $65 is Almost Here

It’s already mid-December, which means that the deadline for teachers to request a refund of their CEA Every Member Option dollars is fast approaching.

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ExcelinEd Holds Latest Summit on Eduction Reform

Last week the Foundation for Excellence in Education held its national summit that annually brings together countless education policy experts and activists.

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Study Highlights the Need For More Information in Education Debates

A key takeaway from the recently published EdChoice study is that the benefits of choice in education speak for themselves but much of the public may still be unaware of these and as such may form their opinions based either on preconceptions or political talking points.

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Westminster’s Annual CBS Summit

Between October 9 and 11, Westminster Public Schools is hosting the second iteration of its educator and administrator summit intended to showcase and explain the Competency Based System (CBS) used to structure curriculum and instruction at all of the district’s schools.

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A Colorado School District’s Dubious Union Agreement Under Scrutiny

Until a little over a year ago, public sector unions across the United States frequently employed the practice of collecting “fair share provisions” or “agency fees” from employees who had opted out of full union membership.  These payments amounted to a prearranged sum of money designed to correspond solely to the costs of the union’s non-political activity (i.e. contract bargaining and administration or grievance resolution). The practice was struck down as unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in its Janus v. AFSCME ruling in June of 2018, but as The Complete Colorado’s Scott Weiser reported on September 8, one Colorado school district seems to be running afoul of the decision. Alamosa’s School District RE-11J was, until a year ago, one of a handful of Colorado school districts that collected agency fees, and although it and all other such districts did revise its contract in response to Janus, Alamosa’s new collective bargaining agreement adopted this summer appears to contain provisions that make it questionable at best. In perhaps its most egregious provision, the agreement currently in force in Alamosa seems to assume that all employees who are members of the union’s bargaining unit (i.e. all teachers in the district) are members […]

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Teacher Safety Is School Safety

Physical attacks on teachers are in fact a problem that needs to be addressed, and in order to develop a solution to this issue Colorado’s public and lawmakers ought to have access to reliable statistics that could allow them to truly understand the scope and nature of the problem at hand

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Study Series Examines how Denver and Other Cities Compare to Their States

Overall, students within the city of Denver compare rather positively to their peers across the state and have posted greater learning gains in both reading and math assessments in the academic years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17. When growth performance is broken down by school category, charter and innovation schools outperform traditional public schools when it comes to reading growth results, though in the latest year for which data is available the gap was lesser than in prior years.

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