Updated 3:30 p.m. – The legislative Committee on Legal Services voted 10-0 this afternoon to approve without change the proposed regulations for implementation of Senate Bill 10-191, the landmark law that creates a new system for evaluating principals and teachers.
Jane Ritter, a legislative lawyer who analyzes proposed regulations for the committee, had recommended that parts of the rules not be approved, primarily because of vagueness. She was concerned, for instance, with use of the word “crosswalk” to describe the process that school districts will use to compare their evaluation systems with the the state’s model system.
Deputy Education Commissioner Diana Sirko explained the rules to the committee, testifying that crosswalk and other terms are commonly understood in the education world and that the rules will be accompanied by other documents that will flesh out the definitions of many terms.
A bill to approve the rules must be passed by the full legislature and signed by the governor by Feb. 15 under a requirement in SB 10-191. The process is not expected to be controversial.
The rules were approved by the State Board of Education last November after a year of consideration by the State Council for Educator Effectiveness and further work by Department of Education staff. Get details on the rules and the process here. Read the analysis by legislative staff here.
Updated 11:15 a.m. – Kelly Brough, president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, told business leaders this morning that “It is my hope” that school finace reform legislation will be passed by the 2012 legislative session.
Brough spoke to a chamber-sponsored legislative briefing at the Capitol, two days before this year’s session convenes. Gov. John Hickenlooper and legislative leaders also spoke to the group of about 100 people.
Education, transportation and health care are the chamber’s top legislative issues this year.
Brough is a key business figure on some major education issues. She’s a member of the Colorado School Finance partnership, a group that is finalizing recommendations for school finance. Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, has told EdNews he hopes to incorporate partnership recommendations into a proposed bill. (See our legislative preview for details.)
Brough also serves on Hickenlooper’s Education Leadership Council, and she was his chief of staff when he was Denver mayor. The chamber also is taking an active role in planned legislation to improve third-grade literacy.
Plans are still being hashed out for allocating about $100 million in state student financial aid among state colleges and universities in 2012-13.
Celina Duran, financial aid administrator for the Department of Higher Education, told the Colorado Commission on Higher Education last Friday that she’s still working with campus budget officers to reach an allocation that everyone can live with. Financial aid is a bit sensitive because fast-growing campuses want a greater share while other institutions are resisting big changes in the existing system. Read Duran’s memo for background.
The commission will make the final call on slicing the scholarship pie. Colleges are anxious for that to happen quickly, because they’re already starting to assemble student aid packages for 2012-13.
What’s on tap:
Officials of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce hold a policy briefing for legislators and Gov. John Hickenlooper from 10 a.m. to noon in the Capitol’s Old Supreme Court Chambers. Education is a priority for the chamber during the 2012 legislative session.
The Finance and Audit Committee of the Denver Public Schools board of education is set to meet from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at 900 Grant St. See the committee’s agenda here.
Cherry Creek school board members meet at 7 p.m. at Smoky Hill High School, 16100 E. Smoky Hill Road in Aurora, for an agenda that includes a special report on major improvement strategies and approval of a new policy on student use of electronic devices. Agenda.
Aurora Public Schools board members meet at 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in closed session to receive legal advice about the district’s budget; they convene in public session at 6 p.m. for a meeting slated to include an update on the district’s pilot schools and charter schools. The meetings are at 1085 Peoria Street. Agenda.
Adams 50 Westminster school board members are expected to name Pamela Swanson as superintendent. Swanson has been interim superintendent since the departure last year of Roberta Selleck, who helped usher in the district’s standards-based education system. Swanson’s proposed contract calls for a base salary of $167,500. The board meets at 6 p.m. at Westminster High School. Agenda.
The State Board of Education convenes at 9 a.m. in the board room at 201 E. Colfax Ave. Agenda items include adoption of regulation on charter school and authorizer standards and on online schools. The board also will hear a charter school appeal, Great Books Early College v. Charter School Institute. Agenda information.
Colorado’s General Assembly convenes at 10 a.m. for the 2012 session.
Adams 12 Five Star school board members hold a special meeting to approve the district’s unified improvement plan and to interview applicants for a board seat left vacant by the resignation of Heidi Williams. Board members hope to name their selection by Jan. 17. No agenda is yet posted.
Gov. John Hickenlooper will deliver his second State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate at 11 a.m. in the House chamber.
Good reads from elsewhere:
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan explains in a Washington Post column why the federal No Child Left Behind law contains significant flaws and has unintentionally created barriers to reform.
A Colorado regulatory board and former Neenan Co. employee Gary Howell have reached an agreement, The Denver Post reports, in an ongoing issue over the quality of the firm’s work in nine schools around the state.
The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org