Tag Archives: Parental Involvement

Legislative Session Starts: Time to Require Later Bedtimes, More Dessert

In just a few minutes the excitement begins anew: the Colorado state legislature reconvenes. With the economy in the doldrums and tax revenues down, it’s going to be an interesting four months under Denver’s golden dome. But what about the kids? What about K-12 education? Ed News Colorado gives us a preview of the speeches and schedules that kick off the new session. Ed News also takes a look at some of the bigger education issues that figure to be debated. Standardizing a system of concurrent enrollment, creating unique teacher identifiers, adding flexibility to the School Accountability Report, cutting back on CSAP tests, expanding charter school access to bond money – all these figure to be important debates. Given time, I’ll jump into all of them. For now, though, I wanted to hone in on this one: There’s talk that several lawmakers are interested in legislation to encourage greater parental involvement in schools, including possibly a bill that would require businesses to give employees time off for school activities. (Similar legislation has gone nowhere in past years.) I can’t understand why this idea hasn’t passed before. Who could possibly be against more parental involvement? While they’re at it, I hope […]

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State Board Candidates Marcia Neal, Jill Brake Discuss Choice, Innovation

Last week, I introduced you to two candidates for Colorado’s State Board of Education from the 3rd Congressional District – Democrat Jill Brake and Republican Marcia Neal – but had to close with an important question about them: I know I can sound like a broken record at times, but wouldn’t it be good to know where Ms. Brake and Ms. Neal stand on school choice (e.g., charter schools, online schools, open enrollment)? What about expanding local innovation? The students and parents of Colorado – especially those trapped in failing schools – deserve to know. So my friends in the Education Policy Center went back and did a little research, and followed up with emails to each of the candidates to give them a fair chance to explain themselves on where they stand on school choice and local innovation.

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Colorado Might Just Be Getting Even Smarter about Education Reform

I hope that I get smarter as I go through school some day. Likewise, despite its success with advancing school choice and accountability so far, Colorado also needs to Get Smart(er) about education reform. At least that’s the premise behind a new group called Get Smart Schools Colorado. As the Rocky Mountain News reports: The idea behind Get Smart Schools is similar to school initiatives in Chicago and New York – one group pooling expertise and funding to help promising new school models get off the ground. That’s because research shows it’s typically more effective to start good new schools than it is to transform existing schools that are failing. In Colorado, the focus will be on importing quality school models that have been successful elsewhere and on helping promising new schools find facilities, an obstacle for many. Believe it or not, this sort of group really is needed. We know the importance of smaller schools, autonomy (big word!), strong leadership, high-quality instruction, research-based curricula, parental involvement (i.e., choice), and focus on student improvement. But with an experienced and qualified staff of its own, a group like Get Smart Schools Colorado can show new schools how to get it done […]

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A Glimpse at New Schools: Cesar Chavez Academy Central

In large part due to its remarkable success with its original Pueblo school, the Cesar Chavez School Network is expanding. 2008 brings the opening of Cesar Chavez Academy-North Central in Colorado Springs, open to students in kindergarten to 8th grade. The free public charter school is authorized by the state’s Charter School Institute. The original Cesar Chavez Academy (CCA) has forged an excellent reputation. Working with a high-minority and high-poverty student population, CCA has helped nearly all its students to reach proficiency in reading, putting it on a rare plateau. The school’s success in closing the achievement gap has earned the attention of the U.S. Department of Education and generated a substantial waiting list of families waiting to get in. The website for the new Colorado Springs school declares the focus of its mission up front: It is the primary goal of the school, through an integrated K-8 program to dramatically increase the number of students who exceed district and state averages on the CSAP assessment and who enter secondary education prepared to succeed in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. High expectations, equal learning opportunities, teacher teamwork, and parental involvement are all hallmarks of the CCA franchise. Like its predecessor, Cesar […]

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Mile High Parent Campaign Should Reward Time on School Choice Site

Lousy parenting is a typical scapegoat of those who resist public school accountability or who make excuses for poor performance. Not all parents fulfill their responsibilities, and certainly none are perfect. But the overwhelming number of parents want to see their kids reach their fullest education potential. In that light, an idea like this one seems to make sense: The Mile High Parent Campaign, set to begin on the first day of school this fall, is designed to track the time DPS parents spend furthering their kids’ education. The goal is 5,280 minutes a year, or 30 minutes a school day. “I’m just hoping to bring a little more awareness of the importance of parent engagement and to celebrate things that we, as parents, do on a daily basis,” said Marlene DeLa Rosa, chairwoman of the Parent Empowerment Council. Parents who enroll in the program will log their time online or complete a form that details how they assisted their children. Suggested activities range from reading with a child, attending back-to-school night, helping with homework or taking a child to the museum. It sure sounds nice on paper, and I wish it the best. The use of prizes and other […]

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