Weekend Reads

Tuesday Churn: A feast of data

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Thinking ahead to the holiday weekend, you probably missed The Condition of Education Report for 2012, released late last week by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Compiling comparable data from across the nation unavoidably means the report’s data is a little old – 2010 – but the study takes a long view that gives a good look at educational change over time. The data includes 49 indicators on virtually all aspects of education, from early childhood to postsecondary.

Some of the highlights of the last two decades include:

  • Improving high school graduation rates, and an increase in the percent of high schoolers taking math and science classes
  • Rising enrollments in charter schools and in distance learning
  • Significant enrollment growth in the West and South

See this page on the center’s website for links to the full report, a news release and a summary, a video introduction and much more.

The head of Louisiana State University has been named chancellor of the Colorado State University System.

Mike Martin, 65 and LSU chancellor since 2008, will start his Colorado job in August. The system’s board of governors announced Martin’s selection late last week. He will receive $375,000 base salary, $75,000 in deferred compensation and option for up to $50,000 in incentive payments, according to a news release.

Martin, an economist, previously served as president of New Mexico State University and as a senior administrator at the universities of Florida and Minnesota.

Joe Blake, former head of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, was chancellor from 2009 until the end of last year. A major part of the chancellor’s role is being the external face of CSU, working with the legislature, business, potential donors and other outside groups. Blake was highly regarded for how he filled that role. The previous chancellor, Larry Penley, also was president of the Fort Collins campus. He resigned in 2008 amid controversy about administrative spending.

The CU-Boulder administration and student government spent a total of $278,797.52 on the effort to snuff out the annual 4/20 marijuana smoke-in on campus. Restricting the campus of students and staff, closing Norlin Quad and a heavy police presence were all part the strategy, which did keep the number of participating smokers way down.

CU spent $124,561.34, more than $87,000 for police officers and security guards. The bulk of the students spending went to staging a concert by hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean, intended to divert student attention. More information

What’s on tap:


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the featured speaker for the ACE Scholarships annual luncheon at Denver Hyatt Convention Center. Check EdNews later for coverage of his talk.

DPS will hold a Far Northeast Community meeting on the Montbello campus, 5000 Crown Blvd. The event starts with a light dinner at 5:30 p.m. Agenda items include discussion of possible school locations and new schools in the area.

The Poudre school board will hold a special 5:30 p.m. meeting to discuss the process for naming an interim superintendent. The session is in the board room at district headquarter, 2407 LaPorte Ave. in Fort Collins.

The Westminster schools have scheduled a community budget meeting for 6 p.m. in the lecture hall at Westminster High School. Read the budget proposal


DPS will hold a Northwest Community meeting 
at CEC Middle College of Denver, 2650 Eliot St., starting at 5:30 p.m.


The Denver school board has a special meeting scheduled for noon at the district offices, 900 Grant St.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Reserves may balance budget: Like several Colorado school districts, St. Vrain Valley is leaning toward using reserves to balance its 202-13 budget, according to this story in the Longmont Times-Call.

Reverse transfers: More and more states are setting up systems to enable adults to combine past college credits to earn degrees InsideHigherEd.com reports in this story. The 2012 Colorado legislative session passed a law to make it easier for students to combine community college and four-year credits and qualify for associate degrees.

The EdNews’ Churn is a roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education, published during the summer as news warrants. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

Weekend Reads

Need classroom decor inspiration? These educators have got you covered.

This school year, students will spend about 1,000 hours in school —making their classrooms a huge part of their learning experience.

We’re recognizing educators who’ve poured on the pizazz to make students feel welcome. From a 9th-grade “forensics lab” decked out in caution tape to a classroom stage complete with lights to get first graders pumped about public speaking, these crafty teachers have gone above and beyond to create great spaces.

Got a classroom of your own to show off? Know someone that should be on this list? Let us know!

Jaclyn Flores, First Grade Dual Language, Rochester, New York
“Having a classroom that is bright, cheerful, organized and inviting allows my students to feel pride in their classroom as well as feel welcome. My students look forward to standing on the stage to share or sitting on special chairs to dive into their learning. This space is a safe place for my students and we take pride in what it has become.”

Jasmine, Pre-K, Las Vegas, Nevada
“My classroom environment helps my students because providing calming colors and a home-like space makes them feel more comfortable in the classroom and ready to learn as first-time students!”


Oneika Osborne, 10th Grade Reading, Miami Southridge Senior High School, Miami, Florida
“My classroom environment invites all of my students to constantly be in a state of celebration and self-empowerment at all points of the learning process. With inspirational quotes, culturally relevant images, and an explosion of color, my classroom sets the tone for the day every single day as soon as we walk in. It is one of optimism, power, and of course glitter.”

Kristen Poindexter, Kindergarten, Spring Mill Elementary School, Indianapolis, Indiana
“I try very hard to make my classroom a place where memorable experiences happen. I use songs, finger plays, movement, and interactive activities to help cement concepts in their minds. It makes my teacher heart so happy when past students walk by my classroom and start their sentence with, “Remember when we…?”. We recently transformed our classroom into a Mad Science Lab where we investigated more about our 5 Senses.”


Brittany, 9th Grade Biology, Dallas, Texas
“I love my classroom environment because I teach Biology, it’s easy to relate every topic back to Forensics and real-life investigations! Mystery always gets the students going!”


Ms. Heaton, First Grade, Westampton, New Jersey
“As an educator, it is my goal to create a classroom environment that is positive and welcoming for students. I wanted to create a learning environment where students feel comfortable and in return stimulates student learning. A classroom is a second home for students so I wanted to ensure that the space was bright, friendly, and organized for the students to be able to use each and every day.”

D’Essence Grant, 8th Grade ELA, KIPP Houston, Houston, Texas
“Intentionally decorating my classroom was my first act of showing my students I care about them. I pride myself on building relationships with my students and them knowing I care about them inside and outside of the classroom. Taking the time to make the classroom meaningful and creative as well building a safe place for our community helps establish an effective classroom setting.”


Jayme Wiertzema, Elementary Art, Worthington, Minnesota
“I’m looking forward to having a CLASSROOM this year. The past two years I have taught from a cart and this year my amazing school district allowed me to have a classroom in our school that is busting at the seams! I’m so excited to use my classroom environment to inspire creativity in my students, get to know them and learn from their amazing imaginations in art class!”


Melissa Vecchio, 4th Grade, Queens, New York
“Since so much of a student’s time is spent inside their classroom, the environment should be neat, organized, easy to move around in but most of all positive. I love to use a theme to reinforce great behavior. I always give the students a choice in helping to design bulletin boards and desk arrangements. When they are involved they take pride in the classroom, and enjoy being there.”

reading list

Weekend Reads: ‘Love and love hard,’ a KIPP Tulsa teacher tells us all

PHOTO: Caroline Bauman
  • New Haven’s schools chief has fallen out of favor after seven years there, and now he’s looking to leave. (N.H. Independent)
  • The KIPP charter network urged its schools to act after Terence Crutcher, a KIPP dad, was killed by police in Tulsa. (Chalkbeat)
  • What that action looked like at KIPP Tulsa College Prep, where at least 10 students are related to Crutcher. (Tulsa World)
  • A teacher at the school went viral after sharing her experiences talking to students — and her advice to “love and love hard.” (Facebook)
  • Great teachers are experts at having hard conversations. Here’s their advice to America. (Chalkbeat)
  • One of Nevada’s wealthiest women is also the state’s glamorous board of education president. (Pacific Standard)
  • Two seasoned education policy wonks are leading Donald Trump’s education transition planning. (Politics K-12)
  • Why is Tennessee’s first single-sex charter school thriving? Not for the reason you might think. (The Atlantic)
  • Efforts are underway to improve black students’ experience at a diverse school where they still come out behind. (Bloomberg)