Tag Archives: director

Krista Kafer Helps You Figure Out What Makes a Charter School Good

A couple days ago I brought your attention to the closure of a struggling Denver charter school, but made the point: For every Amandla that (as far as I can tell) deserves to be shut down, there is a Cesar Chavez, West Denver Prep, Ridgeview Classical, and many other Colorado charter schools that are doing great work providing families successful alternatives to the traditional public education model. That’s great, you might say, but how can I figure out what makes a charter school good or not? Well, have no fear. My friend and Education Policy Center senior fellow Krista Kafer has co-authored a report for the Colorado Department of Education called A Typology of Colorado Charter Schools 2009 (PDF). The more dedicated among you may want to dive right into the report, but I suggest you whet your appetite for this important topic first by listening to a brand-new iVoices podcast that Krista recorded with Center director Pam Benigno: Near the end of the podcast, you also will hear Krista talk about her newly updated issue paper A Chronology of School Choice in the U.S. (PDF). If you haven’t read it already, please check it out!


More Colorado Students and Parents Choosing the Cyberschool Option

Because of the fact that I communicate with you over the Internet, you’d probably guess I’m a big fan of online education. Well, I am. It doesn’t work for every kid, but it sure deserves to be treated fairly as another educational option. Cyberschools well may be the wave of the future, and it’s growing more popular with parents and students in Colorado all the time. In today’s Rocky Mountain News, Nancy Mitchell sheds light on the rising trend of cyberschools: Growth in the programs, which had spiked from 166 students in 2000 to 9,150 in 2006, eked up to 9,222 in 2007. But in fall 2008, that number grew to 11,641 students – an enrollment that would rank it 19th among Colorado’s 178 school districts in size…. In return for greater accountability, the law provides more funding. Before, online schools were prohibited from receiving funding for students who had been home- schooled or were in private schools the year before they enrolled in virtual classes.


Outside Education Experts Help Point the Way to Get Colorado On Track

Education policy is often as much art as it is science. But Colorado’s education policy still can benefit from the informed perspectives of non-Colorado experts. Denver’s own Piton Foundation convened a panel of six national education experts who observe what Colorado has done in many reform areas, and asked for their honest assessments. The result is a brand new report Colorado’s 2008 Education Reforms: Will They Achieve the Colorado Promise? (PDF). In today’s Denver Post, education writer Jeremy Meyer sums up the findings: Six national education experts took a look at Colorado’s education landscape and found the state is on track in some areas but has a long way to go in others.