You are on page 1of 4

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Education Policy Center Newsletter


From The Independence Institute
September 21, 2009
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In this issue
-- September Is Important Time to Remember Teachers Have Membership
Options
-- Learn About Courts’ Impact on Education Policy from Colorado’s Own
-- DeGrow Offers Outside-the-Box Ideas for Stapleton Overcrowding Challenge
-- Still Another Chance to Sound Off on New Colorado Social Studies Standards
-- Education Options Abound: Colorado Cyberschools Making a Splash
-- Education Reform Across the Nation: Indiana Adopts School Choice… and More

Dear Friends,

We hope you enjoy our latest update from the Education Policy Center.

Pamela Benigno, Director


Ben DeGrow, Policy Analyst
Marya DeGrow, Research Associate

September Is Important Time to Remember Teachers Have Membership


Options
For many Colorado school districts, September is the time of year when teachers
who currently belong to a union can effectively end their membership if they so
choose. As the school year opens, some educators are taking a close look at
another option: the Professional Association of Colorado Educators. In August
Ben sat down with PACE’s Megan Leatham for an 8-minute iVoices podcast to
share more about what their organization is up to.

For more:
Ed Is Watching, PACE: Fast-Growing Membership Option for Colorado
Professional Teachers
Independent Teachers, Revoking Membership

Learn About Courts’ Impact on Education Policy from Colorado’s Own


We’re glad to report that we discovered another knowledgeable voice for
education reform (almost) in our own backyard. University of Colorado at
Colorado Springs professor Joshua Dunn, an expert on the role of courts in
education policymaking, recorded a 15-minute iVoices podcast with us recently.
Dunn has authored an in-depth book about the infamous Kansas City school
funding case, and is co-editor of the new Thomas B. Fordham Institute volume
From Schoolhouse to Courthouse.

For more:
Ed Is Watching, iVoices: Colorado’s Own Expert Talks Education Policy and the
Courts

DeGrow Offers Outside-the-Box Ideas for Stapleton Overcrowding


Challenge
A young and fast-growing northeast Denver neighborhood combined with a
significant revenue shortfall from Tax Increment Financing have added up to
leave Stapleton parents with the specter of overcrowded schools in the near
future. In an online commentary piece for Education News Colorado, our own
Ben DeGrow offered a range of ideas that can help the district and parents think
outside the box in addressing the challenge.

For more:
Ed Is Watching, Offering Ideas to Address Stapleton School Overcrowding
Challenge

Still Another Chance to Sound Off on New Colorado Social Studies


Standards
If you feel strongly about what our public school students should learn about
Civics, History, Economics, or Geography (or all of the above), we’re here to help
you take notice. The state of Colorado is in the process of introducing new
preschool-through-12th grade academic standards for Social Studies. We
encouraged feedback on the first draft of standards. Now the standards
committee—which includes our own Ben DeGrow on the history subcommittee—
has submitted its revisions.

If you are still interested in providing comment, mark your calendars for
November 12. That’s when citizens will be able to offer formal public comment
before the State Board of Education makes the decision to adopt the standards
at its December meeting. We will let you know when the new draft is available.
Until then, get yourself up to speed first by listening to a recent iVoices podcast
discussion with Pam and Ben.

For more:
Go Bash, CDE Gathers Feedback on Social Studies Standards

Education Options Abound: Colorado Cyberschools Making a Splash


Leave it to us to help keep you up-to-date on the abundant education options in
Colorado. First, there’s our new iVoices podcast interview with two of Colorado’s
cyberschool organization leaders to discuss how the way our thriving online
education community works together has become the envy of the nation.

As always, our School Choice for Kids website is the one-stop shop for parents to
find the best school near them to meet their children’s needs. And finally, since
our last update, Eddie has offered a glimpse at five new schools, including some
charter alternatives. Please check them all out!

For more:
Ed Is Watching, Hear How Colorado Cyberschools Are Making a Nationwide
Splash

Education Reform Across the Nation: Indiana Adopts School Choice…


and More
Between some of the writings of our young blogger Eddie and Ben’s
contributions to School Reform News, we hope to keep you tuned into national
school reform developments:
Indiana Joins Growing List of School Choice States
Tennessee Lifts Charter School Cap After U.S. Threat
Thank the D.C. 6 for Taking a Stand for D.C. Scholarship Students
Georgia Parents of Special-Needs Students Love Their School Choice, Too
Who’s Surprised Stimulus “Magical Money Tree” Isn’t Funding Reform?
Teachers as Entrepreneurs: A Refreshing Race to the Top Idea?

Contact Information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
email: pam@i2i.org
phone: 303-279-6536
web:http://www.independenceinstitute.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~