Archive for the 'events' Category

25th 2015
Top Secret School Board Candidate Briefing Materials Declassified

Posted under Edublogging & Education Politics & events & School Board

Last night, the Education Policy Center team finished the last of its five school board candidate briefings at the Independence Institute in Denver. This year’s briefings have garnered a fair amount of attention from anti-reform folks, including some pretty interesting conspiracy theories.

I am pleased to report that after talking it over with their evil right-wing overlords, the Ed Center’s staff members have been cleared to make the materials given to candidates publicly available. Not that they were really secret anyway; every school board candidate in the state was invited to the briefings regardless of his or her political opinions. All interested candidates had to do was sign a non-disclosure agreement, forfeit their firstborn children, submit to a lie detector test, and swear fealty to the Almighty Koch Brothers. No biggie, right?

Now, though, everyone can see these top secret materials without having to go through all that stuff. Admittedly, that isn’t terribly fair to the candidates who had to directly endure the aforementioned requirements–particularly those who went through our patented microchip implantation process. But I strongly suspect that others will find the information valuable, and the Education Policy Center is all about providing valuable information to those who need it.

I doubt the written materials will live up to the conspiratorial hype surrounding them, but that’s alright. Maybe the big, scary video (embedded below) featuring 24-year Jeffco teaching veteran Michael Alcorn’s advice for board members will make up for the anti-climactic shock of combing through a 40-page education policy document looking for secret codes that don’t exist.

One last note before I leave you to enjoy the video: There will be no Little Eddie posts next week. I know, I know. You’ll just have to do your best to contain your disappointment. See you in a couple weeks!


23rd 2015
School Choice Week 2015 Has Officially Arrived

Posted under Edublogging & events & School Choice

It’s Friday again, my friends. As usual, that means your favorite little edublogger has spent his day trying to wrap things up for the week. That leaves me limited time for our conversation (try not to look so disappointed!), so today’s post will be a quick one.

Fortunately, we have something exciting to focus on during our brief time together: The kickoff of National School Choice Week in Jacksonville, Florida! If you missed the live stream, you can check out the full video below.

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30th 2014
Tools of Choice: Dougco’s Press for Informed Parental Decisions

Posted under events & Parents & School Choice

Making choices is tough. Would Spiderman or Batman win in a fight? Should I have ice cream for dessert, or should I have ice cream and candy for dessert? What should I do with my finger after picking my nose? Should I ask for a smaller present on both my birthday and Christmas, or should I just ask for one really big present? It all gets a little confusing if you ask me.

If you think that little guys like me have it rough, you should talk to our parents. They have to make hundreds of decisions, all (ok, most) of which are more important than the already stressful choices I outlined above. Among those choices, one stands out as particularly consequential: Which school best fits my child’s needs?

That, my friends, is a tough nut to crack. In fact, one of the most commonly cited arguments against school choice is that some parents—particularly those who don’t earn much or who have lower levels of education themselves—simply aren’t able to find the information they need to make good choices for their children. In one district, that may be about to change. Continue Reading »

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18th 2012
“Teacher Who Couldn’t Read” Addresses Literacy at Next Brown Bag Lunch

Posted under Denver & events & Independence Institute & PPC & State Legislature & Teachers

That last Brown Bag Lunch back in April — the one with Marcus Winters, author of Teachers Matterwas such a success that my Education Policy Center friends are excited to introduce the second Brown Bag Lunch, coming soon:

This year’s signature education legislation, the Colorado READ Act, has shined the light on the need to boost early childhood literacy in our state. One of the nation’s great literacy champions is coming to the Mile High City to share his compelling story and his insights on this timely and critical issue. Please join us at the Independence Institute Freedom Embassy (727 E 16th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203) on Thursday, August 2, to hear from our special guest speaker, John Corcoran, president and CEO of the John Corcoran Foundation.

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27th 2012
In Denver on April 12? Bring Your Brown Bag Lunch to a “Teachers Matter” Event

Posted under events & Independence Institute & PPC & Research & Teachers

If you live in the Denver area, please mark your calendars for April 12. My Education Policy Center friends are hosting a brown bag lunch event with a special guest speaker. Dr. Marcus Winters, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs assistant professor and Manhattan Institute senior fellow, will be sharing the findings and recommendations from his new book Teachers Matter: Rethinking How Public Schools Identify, Reward, and Retain Great Educators:

The question is, how do we sort out the good teachers from the bad? Winters shows the shortcomings of the current system, which relies on credentials and longevity, and spells out a series of reforms based on results achieved in the classroom. For the first time, standardized test results offer an objective, reliable measure of student proficiency that can be tied to an individual teacher. Sure to be controversial, Winters’s plan will be of interest to the education community, policy makers, and parents concerned about the future of education in America.

I’m so glad that Dr. Winters lives in Colorado and can drive up to visit the Independence Institute. The invitation to the event reminds us that the issue is one of profound and timely relevance in our own state: Continue Reading »

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26th 2012
School Choice Week Good News Trifecta: Nationwide, Arizona ESAs, Ohio Vouchers

Posted under Courts & Denver & events & Independence Institute & Parents & PPC & Private Schools & School Choice

While School Choice Week has me in a happy frenzy, it doesn’t leave me as much time for blogging. But in my few spare moments, I wanted to share a few timely developments fitting for this week’s big festivities:

Good news on all three fronts. Before my hyperactivity takes over and my short attention span fades away, here’s one last call to invite you to this evening’s Kids Aren’t Cars movie night at the Independence Institute in Denver. Hope to see you there!

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11th 2010
Another Great Education Reform Movie Coming Soon: Waiting for Superman

Posted under Denver & events & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & PPC & Public Charter Schools

I know it’s only Tuesday, but I can’t help but thinking about movies again. Last week was the Denver event co-hosted by my Independence Institute friends. About 50 guests showed up to watch The Cartel and have a great discussion about education reform afterward. I couldn’t go because it was past my bedtime. And my Education Policy Center so-called friend Ben DeGrow couldn’t save any of the tub of buttery movie popcorn, or even spare a single Kit Kat bar, for me.

Anyway, having just watched one top-notch education reform movie, there’s another one to look forward to being released in the fall, called Waiting for Superman. Here’s a snippet of a review:

[Director Davis] Guggenheim makes his points by introducing us to all sorts of people who are directly affected by our floundering education system — and for the most part, it’s just not pretty. We meet Washington D.C. Education Chief Michelle Rhee, who has some revolutionary new ideas on how to keep teachers happy and inspired … but the teachers’ union doesn’t like them. We get to know a small handful of great kids, all of whom seem smart and sweet and dedicated … oh, but there simply isn’t enough room for those kids at the (relatively) local charter school.

Seem familiar? Gulp. It sounds like there isn’t much that could make this movie even better. If you want my opinion, I think they should change the name to “Waiting for Spiderman,” because he is really a much cooler superhero. He climbs buildings, shoots spider webs from his hands, and doesn’t need a phone booth (a what?) to change clothes….

Well, anyway, here’s the brand-new trailer of Waiting for Superman that just might get you to anticipate this movie as much as I am: Continue Reading »

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30th 2010
Giving You More Good Reasons to See The Cartel Movie While It’s Here in Denver

Posted under Denver & events & Independence Institute & Parents & PPC & School Choice & School Finance & Urban Schools

Last Friday I told you that a great new education movie called The Cartel is coming to town. In fact, on this coming Tuesday at 7 PM, at Denver’s Chez Artiste Theatre, my Independence Institute friends are co-hosting a special screening event with a brief Q & A following the movie.

Given the events of this week, in which thousands of New Jersey students walked out in protest at proposed K-12 education budget cuts, watching the film takes on all the more fresh relevance. As edublogger Matthew Tabor points out, the adult organizers who incited the event are doing a disservice to students by showing no interest in truly solving the Garden State’s education problems. Had they watched The Cartel with an open mind first, they might have taken a different perspective on quite possibly the most fiscally bloated and corrupt state education system in the nation.

Got your attention yet?

If you’re still not sure about whether to come, I invite you to read a brand new review of the film written by local blogger Joshua Sharf. It provides a refreshing and insightful perspective, coming from someone smart and thoughtful who isn’t enmeshed in the finer points of the education policy research and debates.

Look, in all honesty, you don’t have many good excuses to miss watching The Cartel at some point this week while it’s in town. You especially want to come out on Tuesday evening to see the movie and my Education Policy Center friends — and if I can stay out of trouble, maybe my mom or dad will bring me, too!


23rd 2010
Pass the Popcorn: Come to Special Denver Screening of The Cartel Movie on May 4

Posted under events & Independence Institute & Innovation and Reform & PPC & School Choice & Urban Schools

Break out the heavily-buttered popcorn, and don’t forget the Kit Kats and Junior Mints. Movie night is coming! And not just any movie… My Education Policy Center friends are co-hosting a special screening of The Cartel on Tuesday, May 4, at 7:00 PM, at Denver’s Chez Artiste Theatre. Besides the special screening event — at which Pam Benigno and Ben DeGrow will follow the movie with a brief Q&A — The Cartel is scheduled to show at Chez Artiste four times a day from April 30 to May 6. (Tickets for all screenings are available online or at the box office.)

The new, award-winning documentary focuses on New Jersey to offer a fresh inside look at the K-12 public school system and opens eyes to the need for significant reform. Click the play button below (or follow this link) to listen to a new iVoices podcast as The Cartel producer/director Bob Bowdon gives a sneak peek at his film and shares what it’s all about: Continue Reading »


16th 2010
If You Missed Randy DeHoff on 21st Century Learning, We Have Video for You

Posted under events & Independence Institute & Parents & School Choice & State Board of Education

Last Thursday my Education Policy Center friends hosted an event on 21st Century Learning with Randy DeHoff from the Colorado State Board of Education. He discussed whether the idea of 21st Century Learning (and skills) is a valid one and how it will affect Colorado’s new standards and (coming soon) assessments. The informative presentation was followed by a lively discussion, with some thoughtful questions that covered a range of topics.

But you missed it, you say? I don’t know what your excuse might be, unless you heard that I wasn’t coming (I had chores to do, and my mom and dad wouldn’t let me stay out late), and couldn’t bear the disappointment. Well, wipe away those tears. While you’ll have to wait for another time to meet me in person, you can go here to watch the official video of Randy DeHoff’s presentation.

Cyberschool mom Lori Cooney also has posted her take on the event, along with a couple more pictures, over at her blog. Thanks, Lori!

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