Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 3:51 pm
Two former governors, Roy Romer and Bill Owens, joined current Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state capitol to urge lawmakers not to go too far in reducing the numbers of standardized assessments school children take. This comes as legislators are debating several bills to lower the number of exams.
Republican Bill Owens said it's important to have standards and test against those standards to see if students are learning what they should, and to evaluate schools and teachers.
"Our friends from the left and the right for differing reasons, don't want to test, don't want to measure, don't want to have accountability," said Owens. "This is stunning to me."
Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am
Public perceptions of marijuana have come a long way. Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot has become part of the culture.
In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture.
Colorado has allowed medical marijuana since 2001, but voters amended the state constitution in 2012 to allow private marijuana consumption for adults aged 21 or older. The first-ever stores to sell state-regulated recreational pot opened their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.
The law has raised serious concerns for parents and those working with kids to keep young people away from drugs.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:25 am
Across New York state this week, some students are refusing to take a test, and they're not getting punished for it. The test is a Common Core-aligned, federally mandated exam, and students, parents and educators are part of what they're calling the opt-out movement.
Opt-outs made news last week in several states: Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, to name a few. The objections are similar everywhere. But no state is posting numbers like New York.
An amendment to the state budget that would’ve continued a program credited with reducing teen pregnancies and abortion was killed this week. However, a controversial bill that would do the same thing cleared its second reading in the House on Friday.
House Bill 1194 would provide $5 million to continue a program that helps low-income young women and teens access long-acting birth control.
Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:01 am
You may not know it but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off.
The National Association of Broadcasters has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there.
Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 12:25 pm
Following a March attack in Longmont where a mother's unborn child was cut from her womb, Colorado's Senate President has introduced a fetal homicide bill. As written, Senate Bill 268 [.pdf], would define a person as an unborn human being from conception until birth for the purposes of homicide and assault cases. It's expected to draw vigorous debate at the statehouse.
"Frankly crime victims deserves justice, society demands justice," said Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs). "Currently there's a significant gap in Colorado."
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 7:50 am
Democrats in the House unexpectedly delayed a vote on an American Indian mascot bill after they realized Republicans had enough votes to stop it.
House Bill 1165 [.pdf] would set up a state commission to review American Indian mascot names associated with high school and college athletic teams. Without approval, schools would have to switch their names or face fines.
“You can’t honor people based off of words, based off of racist intentions that required extermination,” said bill sponsor Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton).
The Montrose County Board of Commissioners and the Montrose Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees are in an ongoing dispute over control of operations at the hospital. The battle has ended up in court several times.
Late last year, both parties agreed to mediation so they could avoid a lawsuit. In a few weeks, that mediation is set to begin.
Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 8:54 am
There's not a whole lot to do in prison, so inmates spend a fair amount of time playing cards.
For several years, law enforcement officials around the country have been putting that prisoners' pastime to good use. They've been putting facts and photos from unsolved crimes in front of prisoners' eyes by printing them on decks of cards, hoping to generate leads.
The annual Colorado budget is making its way through the statehouse. It cleared the Senate on a vote of 21 to 14, passing largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans to support it. What are the dynamics in play?