Kudos to the Commish, But Parents Also Have Important Reform Role to Play

Yesterday, in a Denver Post guest commentary, Colorado’s commissioner of education Dwight Jones weighed in with some thoughts about our “race to the top” for innovative and effective education reform:

Innovation is more than just a good idea, it’s about putting that good idea into practice. The Colorado Department of Education is presently pursuing a wide variety of innovative education models, including new approaches to teacher preparation, leadership development, school choice and the way in which education is funded. We are organizing strategies and directing resources in ways to innovate intentionally, and, in so doing, increase capacity to take to scale what improves education for Colorado’s students.

At the same time, the department is creating a statewide system of support for districts, built upon internationally competitive standards and greater expectations for ourselves and our students. This system will monitor, measure and foster what matters most — increased student achievement.

The department’s pursuit of innovation began in earnest in September 2007 when the State Board of Education called upon the department to modernize the Colorado Model Content Standards. The spirit of innovation was further kindled last year when Senate Bill 130, commonly referred to as the Innovative Schools Act and led by Peter Groff, president of the Colorado Senate, was enacted into legislation. This bill has allowed Manual High School and Montview Elementary School in Denver to implement new programs outside the constraints of traditional school policy.

I don’t need to elaborate too much. If you follow this blog at all, you certainly are aware of some of these issues already.

Before you go back and read the whole piece, though, let me share a word. I am encouraged to see Commissioner Jones speak out on behalf of innovation and reform. And the Department of Education he heads doubtless has an important role to play in this as well. But so do you as parents – in your homes, your schools, and your communities.

And the best way to get informed, active, and engaged is to learn the power of choosing a school for your child by checking out our wonderful School Choice for Kids website — and other resources like A Parent’s Voice.

Don’t wait for reform to happen. Help make it happen yourself.