Education

NEWS
11:02 am
Fri May 1, 2015

School Violence Immunity Bill Clears Committee Vote

Colorado General Assembly

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:40 am

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.

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NEWS
2:19 pm
Mon March 23, 2015

In Congress, New Attention To Student-Privacy Fears

LA Johnson/NPR

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.

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NEWS
5:56 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Bill To Expand Teen Pregnancy and Dropout Prevention Program

HB1079 seeks to extend and expand a pilot program known as the teen pregnancy and dropout prevention program. Republican Rep. Don Coram of Montrose co-sponsored the legislation.
Credit flickr/isnow

A Colorado bill aimed at preventing teen pregnancy and keeping kids in school will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee Friday morning. 

HB1079 seeks to extend and expand a pilot program known as the teen pregnancy and dropout prevention program. Republican Rep. Don Coram of Montrose co-sponsored the legislation. 

Coram says the pilot program has been running for over a decade in Mesa, Montrose and Delta counties.

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NEWS
5:30 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Bill To Boost Renewable Energy In Colorado Schools

A bill by Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, seeks to give grants to schools for alternative energy projects.
Credit flickr/theentiremikey

A bill that seeks to give grants to schools for alternative energy projects will be taken up by a state Senate committee next week. 

A federally funded program that started in 2007 gave grants to public school for wind energy projects. In Colorado 16 schools took advantage of it. 

The money for that program has since dried up, but a bill introduced by Democratic State Senator Kerry Donovan of District 5 seeks to revive it at the local level. 

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EDUCATION
5:08 am
Fri January 30, 2015

True Or False? Free And Reduced-Price Lunch = Poor

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 2:58 pm

In the education world, you see this phrase all the time: "free and reduced-price lunch." What's the percentage at a given school? In a given district or state?

It's not necessarily out of concern about who's getting fed. Instead, it's most often used to talk about concentrations of poverty and how that affects learning.

The phrase refers to students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program — an easily available data point for any school and any district.

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EDUCATION
1:35 am
Mon January 19, 2015

What Does Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy Look Like To A 5-Year-Old?

Elspeth Ventresca, center, and the rest of Carolyn Barnhardt's prekindergarten class at John Eaton Elementary School wear the crowns they made to celebrate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Emily Jan NPR

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.

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EDUCATION
4:35 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Disparity In Growth For Colorado Schools

Nearly half of Colorado's districts experienced declining enrollment this school year, according to the state department of education.
Credit flickr.com/bionicteaching

The Colorado Department of Education has released its statewide look at school enrollment. 

The state's preschool through 12th grade pupil count shows Colorado gained more than 12,000 students this school year. 

There are 889,006 public school student in the state, according to the data.  

Schools on the Front Range, like in years past, have the most pupils.

On the Western Slope, the Mesa County Valley School District is the largest. It ranks 12th in the state.

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EDUCATION
10:08 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

A New Study Reveals Much About How Parents Really Choose Schools

A painted map of the U.S. seen from inside a classroom at Homer A. Plessy Community School, a charter school in New Orleans.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 7:13 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.

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NEWS
4:10 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Local Motion: Education Issues

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.

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EDUCATION
1:26 am
Fri January 9, 2015

A 'Sizable Decrease' In Those Passing The GED

Kaylin Wainwright (center) works with student Natnael Gebremariam (left) during a GED preparation class in Washington, D.C. Seated at right is student Sibusiso Kunene.
Carolyn Kaster AP

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.

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EDUCATION
9:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Delta School District Gets 75K Scholarship Grant

Credit Colorado Division of Insurance

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. 

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EDUCATION
6:03 am
Sat December 20, 2014

12 Weeks To A 6-Figure Job

A student at the coder boot camp at General Assembly in New York City learns more than "Hello, world."
Courtesy of General Assembly

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:26 am

Marlon Frausto is in pursuit of the new American dream. Just a few weeks ago, he left his job, in Hispanic marketing for the legal industry, and moved to San Francisco.

Every day he wakes at 5:30 a.m., commutes 45 minutes by train, and studies until 9 or 10 at night. He's spending down his savings and says he's getting help from "my loving family."

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EDUCATION
4:25 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Delta School Board Denies North Fork Charter Recognition

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.
Credit Laura Palmisano

The Delta County School Board has denied a North Fork Valley group its request for charter school recognition. 

The Valley Charter Initiative is a group of parents and educators trying to open a Waldorf inspired public charter school in Paonia. 

On Wednesday the five-member school board unanimously denied the initiative's request. 

Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent for the school district, says the board cited seven reasons for rejecting the charter.

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EDUCATION
6:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

North Fork Valley Residents Push For Waldorf Charter School

Parents, teachers, and community members attended a public meeting at Paonia Elementary to learn about the proposed Waldorf inspired charter school.
Credit Laura Palmisano

More than 50 people attended a public meeting at Paonia Elementary on Friday night. 


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NEWS
2:48 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Teach For America At 25: With Maturity, New Pressure To Change

TFA at 25 years (from left): Matt Kramer, current co-CEO; Wendy Kopp, founder; Elisa Villanueva Beard, current co-CEO.
Courtesy of TFA

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.

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NEWS
10:15 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Is Digital Learning More Cost-Effective? Maybe Not

President Barack Obama instructs guests on signing a digital pledge as he hosts 'ConnectED to the Future', in the East Room of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

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.

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ARTS
11:29 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Rural Kids Access Art At Western Slope Creative Center

Sharon Bailey talks to 21 Paonia Elementary students about paintings at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts.
Credit Laura Palmisano

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.” 

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NEWS
2:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Common Core Reading: 'The New Colossus'

Fourth-grader Isiah Soto digests some history during independent reading time.
Emily Hanford American Public Media

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?

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NEWS
5:18 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Q&A: Lamar Alexander On Education In The New Congress

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., waves after speaking to supporters on Nov. 4 in Knoxville.
Wade Payne AP

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.

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NEWS
1:35 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Telluride School District Wins $27 Million

Towns across the Western Slope had a myriad of different ballot measures, and a few had some asking to issue bonds. 

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