“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” With apologies to Charles Dickens, I can’t think of a better way to capture the hopefulness and frustration that can accompany the start of a new school year.
It’s back to school time in Colorado. When I think about my experiences attending public schools in Iowa – where I grew up – I often think about students who aren’t receiving the same outstanding public education that I did. That bothers me and I want to play a role in changing it. It’s one of the reasons why I’m proud and excited to join Stand for Children Colorado as Government Affairs Director. You can learn more about me here.
In the past few weeks, there have been some significant changes to the composition of Colorado’s State Board of Education. The elected board is charged with overseeing public schools in the state and plays a critical role in determining education policies that impact kids. In recent months, this elected body has, as a recent Chalkbeat Colorado article stated, “had its share of bumps.”
A study released this week by TNTP calls for school districts to drastically upend their approach to educator professional development.TNTP studied three large public school districts and one charter school network in their approach to teacher professional development. Over two years, they surveyed over 10,000 teachers, 500 school leaders, and 100 district office staff.
In 2012, the Colorado READ Act was adopted by the state legislature to ensure that all students are competent readers by the end of third grade. Since its implementation in the 2013-2014 school year, it has been clear that literacy continues to be a challenge across the state. Third grade reading results went down in 2014, with 71% of students scoring proficient or higher; only 56% of African American and Hispanic students scored proficient or above. Despite these numbers, many schools and districts saw significant improvement.
A joint statement released last week by the National Association of System Heads, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and Higher Ed for Higher Standards urged states to continue moving forward with implementation of college and career ready standards and aligned assessments.
According to a University of Colorado Denver study released on July 8, the absence of education may be as detrimental to your health as smoking. The study found that greater education levels are a strong predictor of higher income, healthier habits, and improved psychological wellbeing. After looking at the link between education and mortality rates for more than a million people, researchers found that 145,243 deaths could have been prevented in adults with no high school diploma.
It’s that time of year when many kids are spending their days sleeping in, playing video games, and hitting the pool. Unfortunately, research shows that children and young adults lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math and reading over the summer months(1). Summer learning opportunities are a critical part of making sure your kids aren’t behind when they go back to school in a month or two.
Last week, the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) published its annual “Legislative Report on Remedial Education” for the 2014 academic school year. The information, which is gathered from students taking basic skills courses at Colorado’s public higher education institutions, informs lawmakers and school leaders about the number of high school graduates taking remedial classes. CDHE recently set a goal of closing the attainment gap by 50% by 2025, helping to increase the number of Colorado residents who hold a high-quality, postsecondary credential.
Father’s Day is a special day at Stand for Children – just like Mother’s Day, because it’s an important reminder to stop and thank our parents. We want to pause and appreciate everything dads across Colorado, and the country, do for their kids every day. We really do believe that fathers help our children reach for the sky and achieve their dreams.