Tag Archives: Roy Romer

Roy Romer-Bill Ritter Showdown Raises Questions for Friday I.I. Speaker

Over at Education News Colorado, Mr. Alan Gottlieb gives a firsthand account of a polite clash over education reform between Colorado’s two most recent Democrat governors: [Former Governor Roy] Romer laid out the well-known, depressing facts: we are falling behind other nations in education, and we’re going to pay dearly for it soon, if we aren’t already (we are). “We’re a third world nation in terms of our performance in math,” Romer said. What got under [current Governor Bill] Ritter’s skin, apparently, was Romer’s repeated insistence that “we” — meaning Colorado and the U.S. are not doing enough to address this predicament. “We’re asleep, we’re kidding ourselves,” Romer said. Ritter bounded up to the podium like an unleashed dog, and said he wished to “offer a rebuttal, in part, as presumptuous as that may seem.” Colorado is focused on the challenges, despite Romer’s criticism, Ritter said, “in a way perhaps we haven’t been before.” With that subtle dig at the former governor, Ritter laid out his education agenda, stressing the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) legislation that passed this year. He said new standards and assessments are coming, and they will be benchmarked, as Romer suggests, to standards in […]

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Some Democrats in Denver Are Willing to Challenge the Teachers Unions

There’s a big political party known as the Democratic National Convention going on in the heart of our state this week. Maybe you’ve heard of it. My parents say there’s lots of crazy stuff going on there – things that I’m too young to see, things that could warp my young, impressionable mind or worse. But I guess there also was a serious and “inspirational” event yesterday in Denver, an event that should give real “hope” to education reformers that “change” might come: For too long, panelists agreed, the Democratic Party has walked in lockstep with the teacher unions, and has shown little will to take them on. “As Democrats, we have been wrong on education, and it’s time to get right,” said Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, a rising political star. Booker said he was “practically tarred and feathered” by his local union for even broaching the subject of school choice. “This is my wildest dream,” Booker said during a panel discussion, looking out at an overflowing Denver Art Museum auditorium. “I never thought I’d see a room full of Democrats interested in doing this (taking on the unions).” Among those in attendance was National Education Association President Reg […]

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Tom Tancredo Touts Choice and Competition as Education Reform Keys

Retiring Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo – and former president of the Independence Institute (long before I was even born) – has a great piece published in today’s Rocky Mountain News. Most people associate Rep. Tancredo with the issue of immigration, but his deepest roots go back into education as a former public school teacher and as regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education during the 1980s. As he gives advice to Colorado’s current governor and one of his recent predecessors, the themes in Rep. Tancredo’s Speakout column are not novel or startling, but they’re important reminders we can’t hear enough: Last week, Gov. Bill Ritter and former Gov. Roy Romer wrote a column about the state of education in America. In it, I believe they’ve unwittingly made a powerful argument for precisely the kind of educational reform that they have publicly opposed for many years: school choice…. If history has taught us anything, it is that solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems have come only when we have unleashed the power of the free market. The answer to the education problem, simply put, is more choices for parents, and more competition by schools for students. It […]

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Political Courage Needed to Pick Up Pace of Real Education Reform

A bunch of political leaders are getting together with new tough talk on education reform, reports the Denver Post: The national movement, called the Education Equality Project, began a little more than a month ago with [New York City education chancellor Joel] Klein and civil-rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton. In a short time, it has attracted an odd cast of bedfellows such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer and a handful of urban superintendents and pastors across the country. The group’s message: In the last generation and a half, education has become too much about serving adults. “It’s children we need to worry about,” Klein said. “Even if they graduate, they’re woefully unprepared. … Every kid should get a shot at the American dream. It’s not about politics.” Sadly, despite exceptional success stories, today’s school system is out-of-balance – shortchanging kids and families, and favoring the monopoly interests of unions and other groups. The most encouraging thing about this Post story is seeing Democrat politicians who appear willing to stand up to the teachers unions. I look forward to seeing what happens when the rubber meets the road on the […]

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Roy Romer's Answer Points to Reason to Come See Flunked: The Movie

Roy Romer is the former governor of our state and leader of a national group that wants politicians to talk more about education. This very important man sat down with Berny Morson from the Rocky Mountain News to answer five questions. Here’s the very first thing Gov. Romer said: Since ’83, we’ve really made relatively little progress, we’ve really been static. The rest of the world has been going up very rapidly. Among 30 industrial nations, we’re 25th from the top in math. We’re 21st from the top in science. Other countries have made great progress. Poland, South Korea, Singapore, Finland, Canada – we simply have not kept pace with the progress in education worldwide. Graduation will occur in a couple of weeks, and nearly 1.2 million kids won’t graduate who should have graduated. We have a real crisis on our hands. A good reminder for people around Denver to come out this Wednesday, May 21, to see Flunked: The Movie. Gov. Romer might want to see the successful innovations featured in the film, innovations that offer hope to America’s public schools. Time is running out to sign up for this exciting, limited-space event.

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