Across the United States, millions of high schools seniors have just graduated. With diplomas in hand, they are getting ready for what’s next.
In the rural community of Delta in western Colorado, three Karen refugees recently graduated from the local high school. Their families had to leave behind their homeland in Myanmar, once known as Burma, where the Karen people face violence and persecution.
A measure to eliminate immunity for public schools for school shootings, death, sexual assaults and other series injuries that happen to students on school grounds cleared the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. It passed on a vote of 10-3.
Currently public schools are not liable. Legislative leaders in both parties are sponsoring the change, spurred in part by the 2013 death of Claire Davis. She attended Arapahoe High School in Littleton when a fellow student shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself.
Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:30 am
Several efforts in Washington are converging on the sensitive question of how best to safeguard the information software programs are gathering on students.
A proposed Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 is circulating in draft form. It has bipartisan sponsorship from Democratic Rep. Jared S. Polis of Colorado and Republican Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana.
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 10:07 am
It's morning meeting time. "When Dr. King was little, he learned a golden rule," sings a class of 4- and 5-year-olds with their teacher, Carolyn Barnhardt.
John Eaton Elementary School, a public school in Washington, D.C., is unusual. It sits in one of the District's wealthiest neighborhoods, but the majority of students hail from different parts of the city, making it one of the most racially and economically diverse elementary schools in the nation's capital.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:19 am
The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.
It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.
Three public meetings to discuss the future of the Delta County School District were held in December. Hear what community members had to say about budget cuts, standardized testing, academic standards and charter schools in their district. Ali Lightfoot spoke to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about these issues as well as a student privacy law and proposed legislation to increase awareness and resources for dyslexic students.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 4:54 pm
One year after the launch of a major overhaul of the GED exam — the first since 2002 — the high school equivalency program has seen a sharp drop in the number of people who took and passed the test, according to local and state educators and the organization that runs it. In addition, at least 16 states have begun offering or plan to offer new, alternative tests.
Combined, these changes represent a dramatic shift in the equivalency landscape dominated by the GED since its inception during World War II.
The Delta County School District recently received $75,000 from the state to create a work training program.
The grant comes from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.
"Our hope is with that money we’ll [be able] to set up some tracks so that kids as they come out of high school potentially have their CNA and are able to pursue other types of health care fields," Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent for the school district, says.
Clay says the funds will be put towards scholarships for juniors and seniors seeking careers in the medical field.
On Dec. 5, 2014 more than 50 parents, teachers, and community members attended a public meeting at Paonia Elementary to learn about the proposed Waldorf inspired charter school the Valley Charter Initiative wants to open.
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:52 pm
This story was reported for the radio by Eric Westervelt and for online by Anya Kamenetz.
"We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!"
Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe — in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.
Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 3:50 pm
Politicians from Jeb Bush to President Obama like to hype the revolutionary power and cost-effectiveness of digital learning, but a new study suggests, in many cases, it is neither more powerful nor cheaper than old-fashioned teaching.
Teaching art to kids in a rural setting can be a challenge. Most small towns don't have art museums like big cities. And, it’s not easy to pile them on a bus and drive to Denver for a cultural experience. However, there’s a center on the Western Slope trying to make it easier for students to access art.
"We are going to look at some of these paintings and we are going to start developing characters, but we are going to do it by talking about what we see," Sharon Bailey says. "Let’s look at this painting here. Raise your hand and tell me what you see.”
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 8:48 am
Part 1 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.
The Common Core State Standards are changing what many kids read in school. They're standards, sure — not curriculum. Teachers and districts still have great latitude when it comes to the "how" of reading instruction, but...
The Core standards explicitly require students to read "complex" material, and the fact is, many kids simply weren't doing that before the Core. What were they doing?
Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 12:45 pm
Higher education, preschool funding, the Common Core and the future of No Child Left Behind are just a few of the education policies that will be in play under the new Republican-controlled Congress. How will these things change? We called Sen. Lamar Alexander to ask.
The Montrose School District is sending a message to the state about mandatory testing, but it looks like it will be a largely symbolic move.
The school board passed a resolution requesting a five year waiver from state mandatory testing. The two tests they're concerned about are the CMAST (Colorado Measure of Academic Standards) and the PARK.
Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 1:22 pm
For years,Washington Monthly has been rating and ranking the nation's colleges.
But for its 2014 edition, the magazine has done something new. It has put out a list of what it says are the nation's worst colleges. That is, schools with high tuition, low graduation rates and high student debt rates.
Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 7:35 pm
On Sunday, October 5th, Aspen High School hosted just under three thousand students and parents from Lake City, Durango, and other far flung Colorado towns. They quizzed University representatives and took workshops as part of the Colorado Western Slope College Fair. It’s been around for years, but this time, the focus was on helping students with the details, like essay writing and affordability.
Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:56 pm
Hundreds of Colorado high school students have walked out of class in the past two weeks to protest proposed changes to the Advanced Placement history curriculum.
The firestorm of protest was sparked by a resolution in August from Jefferson County school board member Julie Williams. When she heard that conservatives across the country were upset about the new AP history curriculum, she proposed a committee to review the district's courses.
Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:19 am
A growing education program in the Valley is teaching preschoolers how their brain works so they can focus on learning. The “Focused Kids” program is being taught to low income, mostly Latino kids, in a unique preschool. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, this new program is happening inside a school bus.