Tag Archives: high-performing

Fixing How Colorado Teachers Are Evaluated an Important Reform Piece

Hooray for Nancy Mitchell, and so glad she is working at Ed News Colorado these days. Her latest investigation probes the value of our current teacher evaluation system at identifying effective teachers, weeding out ineffective teachers, and providing support where necessary. The results? Not very good: Education News Colorado requested teacher evaluation data from the six largest districts, all in the metro area, which serve more than 40 percent of public school students statewide. The analysis found little difference between the results of evaluations given in affluent, high-performing Douglas County and those doled out in urban Denver Public Schools, where large numbers of students perform below average on state exams. Fewer than 2 percent of teachers in either district – or in Adams Five-Star School District or in Jefferson County Public Schools – were told they needed to improve their instructional skills.

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Rocky Mountain Deaf School Seeking to Build on Special Record of Success

Yesterday a couple of my Education Policy Center friends had the privilege of visiting a local charter school with a special program to serve a particular group of kids with special needs: Rocky Mountain Deaf School (RMDS). RMDS is located in Jefferson County, but about half of its 61 students live in surrounding districts. That’s a sign of a school having success connecting with deaf and hearing-impaired kids and improving their learning horizons. The RMDS vision statement highlights the clear focus and special status of the school: As a high performing, innovative educational program for students who are deaf, we are deeply committed to providing a rigorous, standards-based curriculum. We prepare each deaf student to be literate, academically successful, and technologically competent. We provide a linguistically rich learning environment through the acquisition of American Sign Language and English both inside and outside the classroom.

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More High-Quality Choices? Denver May Be on Verge of Major Breakthrough

Today’s big education story in the Denver Post suggests we may be on the verge of some major innovative developments that promote consumer choices and academic excellence: This morning, the Denver School of Science and Technology charter school will announce that it plans to open four new schools over the next five years. And this evening, Denver’s school board will vote on whether to allow Manual High and Montclair Elementary to become the state’s first “innovation schools.” The designation would give them charterlike freedoms to hire and fire and set their own calendars…. High-performing West Denver Preparatory Charter School hopes to add two middle schools in northwest Denver; the Cesar Chavez Academy organization based in Pueblo will try to open its first Denver school; and Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, wants a middle school on the west side that will feed its high school opening this August. Organizations also are forming to help support the creation of new schools in DPS. The Walton Family Foundation — a K-12 education-reform charity established by Wal-Mart magnate Sam Walton — is focusing on Denver. The National Association of Charter School Authorizers chose Denver as the first district it will help with more […]

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Bromwell Elementary Issue Makes the Case for Expanding School Choice

The Denver Post‘s Jeremy Meyer reports today on the latest from the Bromwell Elementary controversy: Parents who skirted district rules to get their children into a high-performing Denver school must go through the choice process for next year, a school committee said. Bromwell Elementary’s collaborative school committee met Wednesday to decide what to do with students from outside of the neighborhood who did not follow the district’s enrollment procedures. In one instance, a family enrolled by using a grandparent’s address. The committee said students who failed to prove they live within school attendance boundaries must enroll through the district’s choice process, which operates on a blind lottery. Superintendent Tom Boasberg must approve the recommendation. First, let me say that Denver Public Schools appears to be fairly treating people who tried to cheat the system. It isn’t right when one of my friends tries to move my checkers when I’m not looking, and it isn’t right for people to pretend to live at a different address so they can enroll their child into a different school. But the conversation can’t end there.

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