Tag Archives: official

If a Teacher Strike Comes, Will Boulder Learn Denver's 1994 Lesson?

Back in the spring, I pointed you to some important discussion about the Boulder teacher “sickout”. A month ago I mentioned how the collective bargaining contract with the school district, and teachers voted to reject the latest offer. Well, earlier this week, the Boulder Valley Education Association filed official notice with the state that the union intends to strike. Sure, as my friend Ben DeGrow pointed out, that doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will happen soon or even happen at all. But another large Colorado local union went down a similar path 15 years ago during the state’s last teachers strike. So will the parties involved learn the lessons of the 1994 Denver walkout (PDF), or perhaps even take the opportunity to promote reforms in the way teachers are paid?


A Glimpse at New Schools: Thomas MacLaren School (Colorado Springs)

Update, 8/18: Denise at Colorado Charters offers more information on the new Thomas MacLaren School, as well as an account of the ribbon cutting ceremony. If you live in the Colorado Springs area and have a student heading into the middle school years, you may want to take a look at the new Thomas MacLaren School. The tuition-free public charter school opens this month with classes from 6th to 9th grade. Eventually the school will serve students all the way up through high school. Many things set MacLaren apart from traditional public schools, but most prominent are: A classical education curriculum that builds from the basics of grammar (6th-8th grade) to the logic of finding “implications and relationships that exist among the ideas already learned” (9th-10th grade) to the higher-level rhetoric (11th-12th grade) “wherein students begin to synthesize and relate concepts already learned” — all students will be required to take four years of Latin Student uniforms Single-sex classrooms (that’s right: No yucky girls! I may have to look into this school….), except the fine arts classes (including choir, drama, etc.) and lunchtimes will be co-ed


More Clarity Doesn't Give Arne Duncan Free Pass on Voucher Study Release

When I wrote yesterday with questions about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s handling of the release of the D.C. voucher study, I didn’t necessarily expect such a fast answer. But former U.S. Department of Education official Russ Whitehurst has posted “Secretary Duncan Is Not Lying”. It’s a worthy read, and puts to rest the more extreme hypothesizing that Duncan knew about the positive results and intentionally hid them from Congress during the important debate on reauthorizing the program. While it seems clear that extreme case isn’t true, Jay Greene also rightly observes that other unsettling issues remain: Why did Duncan suppress the positive results in a Friday afternoon release with no publicity and a negative spin? Why falsely claim that the WSJ never attempted to contact him? The Secretary may well not be lying about his knowledge of the study but his credibility in general is very shaky right now. I’m too young to really grasp it all, but it seems politics lies at the center of the controversy. The D.C. voucher issue raises the specter of divisions within the Democratic Party and therefore causes some adults discomfort. But downplaying the results of the research doesn’t serve either the kids in […]