Denver public students make record gains on latest state tests, shrinking troubling gaps

South High School. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) high school; architecture; denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; washington park;
South High School. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Melanie Asmar on August 17, 2017

Denver Public Schools students made more academic progress on state English and math tests last year than ever before, and the overall percentage of third- through ninth-graders who scored at grade level moved to within a few points of the statewide average, test results released Thursday show.

It’s a significant feat for the state’s largest school district, which ten years ago lagged far behind.


Wide socioeconomic gaps persist even as Colorado test scores inch up

By Nic Garcia, Chalkbeat

Three years after Colorado introduced new, more demanding standardized tests, student performance statewide is slowly ticking up, according to data released Thursday.

Most students still are falling well short of meeting the state’s expectations on the PARCC math and English tests, which are meant to measure whether students are on track to be prepared for life after high school.


The feds aren’t happy with Colorado’s reaction to the anti-standardized testing movement

Seniors at Fairview High School in Boulder protested a standardized test in November 2014. (Photo by Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat)
Seniors at Fairview High School in Boulder protested a standardized test in November 2014. (Photo by Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat)

Originally posted on Chalkbeat by Nic Garcia on August 14, 2017

Colorado’s policy of not penalizing schools that fail to meet federal requirements for student participation in state tests isn’t going over well with the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Education told state officials in a letter Friday that the policy is not acceptable. Colorado faces losing millions in federal funding if it doesn’t change course.


This law would let Colorado high school students vote in school board elections

State Rep. Jonathan Singer plans to introduce legislation to allow school boards to lower the voting age to 16 for their elections.

Candidate for Denver School Board Tay Anderson speaks with fellow Manual High School alumni, social justice attorney Ryan Haygood. Juneteenth in Five Points, June 17, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) juneteenth; five points; black history; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite; street fair; festival; welton street;
Candidate for Denver School Board Tay Anderson speaks with fellow Manual High School alumni, social justice attorney Ryan Haygood. Juneteenth in Five Points, June 17, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Nic Garcia, Chalkbeat

A Colorado lawmaker thinks a key constituency should have a greater say about who serves on local school boards: students.

State Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Longmont Democrat, confirmed to Chalkbeat that he intends to introduce legislation next year that would give local school boards the freedom to set the voting age as low as 16 for their elections. The current minimum voting age — for federal races as well as state and local races in Colorado — is 18.


Cut from the same cloth: Why it matters that black male teachers like me aren’t alone in our schools

I am one of few black male teachers in Denver. Across the country, only 2 percent of teachers are black men. In Colorado, that proportion is even smaller.

By William Anderson, Chalkbeat

The professional journey of a black male teacher can be completely isolating: Without colleagues of the same gender and cultural and ethnic background, having supportive and fulfilling professional relationships is much harder.

Do not get me wrong — there are amazing teachers and leaders of all backgrounds in schools across Colorado and the country. But there is so much power in being able to see someone and work with someone like you.

I know because I am one of few black male teachers in Denver, and I’ve taught in schools where I was alone, and in schools where I worked with people who looked like me.