Archive for the 'Just For Fun' Category

1st 2014
New Independence Institute Ownership? Goodbye, Eddie; Hello, Little Ed Koch

Posted under Independence Institute & Just For Fun & Public Charter Schools & School Board & Tax Credits & Teachers

Change is hard, especially when you’ve been 5 years old for so long like I have. But it can be good, too. Some of you may have seen today’s important news release from the Independence Institute about their new arrangement:

Under the terms of the agreement the Koch brothers have invested an undisclosed amount of funding into the Institute, in exchange they will receive 51% ownership of the organization. This will provide Independence with the resources necessary to continue operations and serving the cause of freedom in Colorado.

Caldara said that the change in ownership will not have a sizable change in the operations or the direction of the Institute saying, “We are thrilled about keeping the name “Independence” in the new iteration of our organization.”

Caldara declared that the newly titled “Koch Institute at Independence” pays tribute to our proud history but also points to our new and properly funded future.

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28th 2014
Three Online Learning Items Blended Together for Your Friday Enjoyment

Posted under Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & Online Schools & Public Charter Schools & Research & Suburban Schools & Urban Schools

It’s Friday, time for my version of the Dagwood sandwich, the supreme pizza, or burrito with everything (please!). The only difference is this hodgepodge is going to be about online and blended learning. I’ll leave it up to you to find a way to “blend” all the pieces together before pouring some chili sauce on top. Okay, not literally.

First, one of the most successful and noteworthy blended learning providers is expanding to another major city. Blast off with me in celebration at the news that Rocketship Education will be opening a school in the nation’s capital in 2015: Hooray!! Add Washington, D.C., to the list of Milwaukee and Nashville as expansion sites from the original California launching pad. Continue Reading »

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13th 2014
McShane is Right: Choice Team Needs to Do More Than Cry about “Bad Schools”

Posted under Just For Fun & Parents & Private Schools & School Choice & Tax Credits & Urban Schools

This morning I’m going to be like that geeky kid at the front of the class, eagerly raising his hand and exclaiming, “Ooh, ooh, I know! Call on me!” The question the imaginary teacher is asking: “What one education policy article do you need to read this week?”

If I sit here and wait until you call on me, the post will never get written. So allow me to blurt out my recommendation: “We need to stop obsessing about ‘bad’ schools, by Michael McShane!” If the teacher hasn’t read it yet, do I get even more brownie points?

The article starts with an honest criticism: Continue Reading »

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31st 2014
Charter Schools Continue to Grow; We Need More #SchoolChoice Now

Posted under Independence Institute & Just For Fun & Parents & Public Charter Schools & Research & Rural Schools & School Choice & Teachers

Where did the time go? Unbelievably, National School Choice Week is coming to a close. It’s been a fun ride. Last night, a bunch of kids and parents showed up at the Independence Institute to watch Waiting for Superman in Spanish (more about that later). And today at Noon-1 PM local time (2-3 PM Eastern) you can join me and others for a #schoolchoice Tweet-Up.

To suit the occasion, think about the possibilities that more high-quality charter schools could offer students and families in Colorado. Yesterday the Center for Education Reform released the latest edition of the Survey of America’s Charter Schools. What a great place to go to get the “30,000-foot view” of charter trends across the nation.

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16th 2014
I’ll Stick My Toe into the Fordham-Cato School Choice Argument… for Five Minutes

Posted under Grades and Standards & Just For Fun & Parents & Private Schools & Research & School Accountability & School Choice & Tax Credits

There’s nothing quite like taking a step into no man’s land, wandering into an argument between friends. A lot of us are on the school choice bandwagon together, but that certainly doesn’t mean everyone has the same views of what a program should look like. The Fordham Institute this week unveiled its “public accountability and private-school choice” toolkit. It called for administering state tests to all voucher / scholarship recipients, and reporting school-by-school test results if at least 10 kids participated.

It took very little time for the argument to begin: Continue Reading »

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2nd 2014
Colorado K-12 Policy and Trends: Eddie’s Eight Emerging Questions for 2014

Posted under Courts & Edublogging & Innovation and Reform & Just For Fun & learning & Online Schools & Parents & Preschool & Principals & School Board & School Choice & School Finance & State Legislature & Tax Credits & Teachers & Urban Schools

Unbelievably, another new year is already underway, and I’m left to ponder what kind of hopes it holds out for Colorado kids and families seeking the best educational opportunities and outcomes possible. While I recover from the blissful batch of toys, games, and goodies, it seems like a perfect time to ponder what might emerge out of the chaos in 2014: Continue Reading »

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20th 2013
If This Education Research Were Real, You Might Buy Me a Cool Christmas Gift

Posted under International & Just For Fun & learning & Research

‘Tis the Christmas holiday season, and maybe (just maybe) my last posting of 2013. Nobody’s in school now, and education policy drifts even further from the brain as visions of sugarplums (or actually, new Lego sets) dance in small children’s heads.

Nonetheless, the season provides a great opportunity to drive home an important point about the research that underlies education policy debates. Jay Greene yesterday dispatched a message to Marc Tucker and Diane Ravitch, urging them to contact Santa Claus. (As a small aside, let me make the point that contacting the big jolly man in the red suit can be a difficult task. I’m still trying to get an explanation why last year I got earmuffs, mittens, and socks rather than a new PlayStation.)

Greene points us to a fabulous Education Next piece by Matthew Chingos with the provocative title, “Big Data Wins the War on Christmas.” It seems the Harvard graduate and Brookings Institution fellow stumbled onto some fascinating research data from the latest PISA international test results. Continue Reading »

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9th 2013
I’ve Got Better Ideas for a Real Day of Action: Help Colorado Kids Win

Posted under Education Politics & Just For Fun & School Finance & Tax Credits & Teachers

The national teachers unions have christened today a “National Day of Action.” So rather than spend too much time sitting here working on the blog, I am going to get busy and play ball outside. Then after awhile when I get cold, it will be time to go inside and take action with my Legos and video games (until my parents make me participate in cleaning up and setting the dinner table, that is).

But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about the National Day of Action. In (almost) 12 Days of Christmas style, Mike Antonucci breaks down the union-sponsored list of activities. For some reason, it looks different than my own plan to commemorate the second Monday in December. Continue Reading »

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4th 2013
Warmed by the Thought of Another School Choice Whistle-Stop Tour

Posted under Just For Fun & Parents & School Choice

The bone-chilling cold has arrived, so I really needed something to fill me with warm thoughts. Even though it’s more than 7 weeks away, what about the official announcement that there’s soon going to be another National School Choice Week Whistle-Stop Tour?

Planned by National School Choice Week, the tour will span 3,800 miles and feature special events in 14 cities. Modeled after pioneering whistle-stop tours in American history, the events will call attention to the benefits of – and need for – greater educational opportunity for children and families.

The tour will launch from Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 and end in San Francisco on Saturday, February 1, 2014.

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30th 2013
Teachers Union Leaders Miscalculate in Adams 12, Misbehave in DougCo

Posted under Education Politics & Just For Fun & School Board & Suburban Schools

The campaign silly season just got sillier. A union-backed school board candidate in Adams 12 was just ruled to be ineligible for office because she lives outside the correct district boundaries. To think, two weeks ago she was most famous for subjecting her toddler son to a Klingon language immersion program.

Yesterday’s unexpected development makes one wonder whether Amy Speers or the local teachers union that spent $39,000 on her candidacy knew she lived in the wrong district and tried to hide it, or just avoided doing their homework. Due to population changes, the Board of Education followed the law and redrew the boundaries back in May 2012. So it wasn’t exactly new or secret.

In late 2011, Speers vied for the District 4 vacancy created by Heidi Williams‘ resignation to serve as mayor of Thornton. Rico Figueroa was chosen instead and now runs unopposed to keep the seat, because no one apparently paid enough attention to the fact that the new boundaries moved Speers into another district.

Stories like this one make me worried about all those adults out there who I’m supposed to look up to. So does the underlying truth in this hilarious 3-minute video: Continue Reading »

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