Denver Public Schools officials today will play host to a contingent of Philadelphia government and education leaders examining this city’s district-charter compact as they prepare to replicate a similar effort.
Philadelphia is the recipient of a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the implementation of a district-charter compact approved last month by that city’s School Reform Commission, appointed by the governor and the mayor to oversee the nation’s eighth largest school district.
Denver was one of nine cities across the country to enter into compacts with its charter schools in December 2010, also benefiting from grants providing seed money from the Gates Foundation. Part of Denver’s compact calls for charters to allow students to enroll mid-year and to serve all students, including English language learners and those with special needs. More here.
Philadelphia has launched a Great Schools Compact, a partnership between city, state, district and charter officials, to replicate high-performing district and charter schools, according to the district website.
“The Philadelphia Great Schools compact is an opportunity for partnership among a diverse group of educators,” Philadelphia School Reform Commission chairman Pedro Ramos said in a statement. “We will be visiting Denver Public Schools this week to get a better sense of how other cities have been successful and moving forward.”
The district-charter partnership predates, and is unrelated to, the Denver Education Compact launched late last year by Mayor Michael Hancock. Still, the Philadelphia delegation is slated to meet with Hancock.
Stand For Children Colorado has named Paul Lhevine as the group’s executive director. Lhevine has worked as chief operating officer for Mile High United Way for the last three years and is a former member of Stand’s Advisory Board. The advocacy group is part of a national network and takes credit for helping pass Colorado’s educator effectiveness reform law and for electing “pro-reform” state lawmakers and school board members. More about Stand For Children here and their legislative agenda here.
Get Smart Schools and DPS are co-hosting two informational sessions in the coming week for families confused by the district’s new choice enrollment system. The hour-long sessions are scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade, and 6 p.m. Wednesday at George Washington High School, 655 S. Monaco Parkway. You can also watch videos in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on the new SchoolChoice process and learn more on this district webpage. In addition, parents in Far Northeast Denver can attend a session at 5 p.m. Tuesday about area middle and high schools. That’s at the Evie Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St. or go here for more info.
What’s on tap:
The Education Leadership Council, a panel of education and business leaders that advises Gov. John Hickenlooper, meets from 1 to 4 p.m. today at the offices of the Colorado Community College System, 1061 Akron Way. The agenda includes reports from the subcommittees working on implementation of reform laws and on early childhood literacy, a briefing on the in-progress higher education master plan and a discussion on education issues led by Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia.
The Educational Success Task Force also meets from 1 to 4 p.m. today in another part of the community college complex, at 9101 E. Lowry Blvd. The panel of legislators and educators is studying ways to improve high school and college completion rates. The group has proposed several bills for the 2012 legislative session. More information on committee website.
Jefferson County school board members meet at 5 p.m. today at district headquarters in Golden to discuss budget development for the next two years. The district’s Citizens’ Budget Advisory Council has prioritized a list of 82 reductions – if all are enacted, the district would trim 590 positions and $67.8 million. Among the bigger ticket items are reducing bus routes, requiring employees to pay mandated hikes in their pension contributions, increasing class sizes and adding two more furlough days to the two days already scheduled this year. School board members will host community budget forums Jan. 28. Agenda
Good reads from elsewhere:
New enrollment process: The Denver Post editorial pages offered an endorsement of Denver Public Schools’ new enrollment process and some step-by-step guidance for managing the forms.
Temporary roof fix: A middle school in Craig has had some work done to allow students to use a portion of the building that was previously off limits, according to The Craig Daily Press. Structural reviews are conducted as part of a statewide concerns regarding work done by The Neenan Co.
Teachers push back: An Idaho law that requires a certain number of high school courses be taught online is getting a lot of resistance from teachers, who argue that program is being implemented without adequate preparation. The New York Times.
Where do they stand? Republican presidential candidates have a variety of opinions on education reform—and Education Week provides a recap.
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