After criticism, Denver will change the way it rates elementary schools

The changes will lessen the impact of early literacy scores on a school’s overall rating, while also raising the bar on how many students must ace the tests for a school to be considered good.

First graders read in a bilingual classroom at Goldrick Elementary School, Dec. 7, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; elementary school; education; goldrick elementary; learning; classroom;
First graders read in a bilingual classroom at Goldrick Elementary School, Dec. 7, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Melanie AsmarChalkbeat

Facing criticism that its school ratings overstated young students’ reading abilities, the Denver school district announced it will change the way elementary schools are rated next year.

The district will increase the number of students in kindergarten, first, second and third grade who must score at grade-level on early literacy tests for a school to earn points on the district’s rating scale, and decrease how many points those scores will be worth, officials said.


Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Feb. 19

An 81-story skyscraper, development fears on South Pearl and more.

W. N. Rhodes & lion cubs, Elitch Gardens, April 25, 1897. (Harry H. Buckwalter/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/CHS-B912) elitch gardens; amusement park; archival; denver; denverite; kevinjbeaty; colorado;
W. N. Rhodes & lion cubs, Elitch Gardens, April 25, 1897. (Harry H. Buckwalter/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/CHS-B912)

Here’s a true Denver story: I opened my windows yesterday to let in some of that fresh, 70-degree air. Then I went to the park, out to dinner and to my boyfriend’s apartment.

See where that’s going? Yeah. I left my windows open to the cold and snow overnight. Rookie Denver move.

Anyway, I hope your Monday morning has been better than that. Here’s your news.


Denver weather today: I’ve got a bad feeling about this

The National Weather Service should have just used a frowny face for today’s forecast.

Snow over West Colfax, Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) weather; cowx; winter; snow; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Snow over West Colfax, Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The National Weather Service should have just used a frowny face for today’s forecast.

We’re looking at a high of 25, a low of 5, “patchy snow,” “freezing drizzle,” and a “blustery” morning. Tonight, we’re expecting more snow and wind chill around 7 below. Happy birthday, presidents.

Looking ahead a bit, it’s going to stay cold — but this should be the worst of the precipitation.


Yes, Colorado has fireflies, but also look at these glowing scorpions

I’ve got two pieces of good news: First, there are indeed fireflies in Colorado. Second, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is gearing up for an entire exhibit centered around magic bioluminescence.

Asian forest scorpions illuminated by a blacklight at the Butterfly Pavilion, Feb. 13, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) science; animals; scorpions; butterfly pavilion; westminster; denverite; colorado; kevinjbeaty;
Asian forest scorpions illuminated by a blacklight at the Butterfly Pavilion, Feb. 13, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

For those of us who grew up in more humid regions to the east, the memory of summer night skies filled with fireflies is tied to a deep sense of nostalgia. People who remember that fondly — like me — like to lament, from time to time, that we don’t see that magic glow in the arid west.

If this describes you, I’ve got two pieces of good news: First, there are indeed fireflies in Colorado. Second, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is gearing up for an entire exhibit centered around bioluminescence.


Diamond Cabaret strip club says it’s the ‘cherry on top’ of downtown Denver

“We’re the cherry on top of everything that goes on for the convention center,” the Diamond Cabaret’s owner said.

Outside the Diamond Cabaret, Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) strip club; nightlife; denver; colorado; colfax; denverite;
Outside the Diamond Cabaret, Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Diamond Cabaret is a downtown goer’s best friend, according to the owner of the Denver strip club.

“We’re the cherry on top of everything that goes on for the convention center,” said Troy Lowrie, CEO of VCG Holding Corp.