There is no such thing as time off from covering education. While school doors were shuttered, plenty happened this summer on the Colorado education beat. Here, we’ve compiled stories that we hope prove useful as you ease back into your fall routines.
We’ve got your immunization data right here …
For the second year, Chalkbeat tracked down immunization data for more than 1,200 schools in Colorado’s largest school districts. Our database revealed that Boulder remains a hotspot for the anti-vaccination movement, students in districts with racial and income diversity are more likely to get their shots and nearly half of schools in the database did a better job this year tracking students’ immunization records. Read our news story about the findings, check out these six charts that dig into the numbers and search for school-level data here.
Denver Superintendent Tom Boasberg reflects on his sabbatical (a break not everyone appreciated)
In June, Denver Public Schools’ longtime schools chief returned from a six-month unpaid sabbatical in South America with his family. “It made us appreciate the extraordinary resources we have here,” he said in an interview about his experience.
A milestone for Colorado charter schools on diversity, but not so much on integration
For the first time, Colorado’s charter schools educated a larger proportion of racial and ethnic minorities than district-run schools, a state report showed. We took a closer look and found that does not mean charter schools are more integrated.
Race, policing and education during a summer on edge
This summer sadly provided no shortage of violence and heartache over issues that sometimes feel like they’re tearing America apart at the seams. We sought to bring some local perspective (and wisdom) to the debate by talking to an ambitious Manual High School student who took up a bullhorn at Denver street protests and to Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn.
A middle school’s last-ditch effort to save itself
An Adams County middle school running out of time to improve has placed its bet on more challenging, more personal teaching — and zero test preparation. Watch Chalkbeat later this week for a report on whether these efforts paid off in the form of improved state test scores. (Hopefully … the data are set to be made public Thursday).
Guess which Colorado school district had a high proportion of teachers designated to lose tenure …
Compared with other large Colorado school districts, Denver Public Schools had a higher proportion of teachers set to lose tenure under a sweeping educator effectiveness law passed six years ago. We surveyed big districts about one of the consequences of Senate Bill 191.
Too darn hot to teach and learn
As part of its big bond request of voters this fall, Denver Public Schools wants to try to cool off some of its hottest schools. We took a look at where the mercury soars the highest and found that in 12 of the 18 hottest buildings — some of which house more than one school — the number of students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch exceeds the district average.
But the University Club has a lovely lunch menu (and squash courts, too)…
What if the State Board of Education held a not-so-public meeting with the education commissioner at a private club downtown to prioritize goals, but didn’t get much of anything accomplished? That happened.
What we know — and don’t know — about Colorado remediation rates
Colorado’s college remediation rates inched upward after years of steady decline, a disheartening development. On top of that, we’re not getting the full picture, either, because of incomplete school-level numbers and non-existent district-level data.
Diet Coke: Coming soon to a high school vending machine near you?
Despite opposition from advocacy groups, Colorado appears headed toward lifting a seven-year ban on diet soda in high schools. The rule change would clear the way for diet soda to be sold in high school vending machines and school stores, though districts could decide not to stock the drinks. We covered the issue before and after the State Board of Education’s initial vote.