Pretty much nobody is in school today, as we all gear up for the big turkey feast tomorrow. As my parents constantly remind me, the fourth Thursday in November is about more than food and football. Yes, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. While I could gratefully mention the standard fare — family, friends (like those big people in the Education Policy Center), freedom, our big screen TV, and my growing (ahem!) Legos collection — more fitting for the blog are seven things to be thankful for in Colorado K-12 education:
- While nobody asked Colorado teacher union members before taking political contributions from their paychecks, at least they can ask for the money back by December 15;
- While the state senate president hasn’t given up his attacks on the online education option for parents, at least his attempt to push a selective audit was defeated;
- While a number of pro-reform school board candidates lost and many inside the “education bubble” were distraught at the crushing defeat of the Prop 103 tax hike, at least the opportunity for truly creative innovation lies ahead with a number of new pro-reform board members ready to step up;
- While a Denver judge went out of his way to shut down the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program, at least the rays of hope for a successful appeal on behalf of students and parents are growing brighter;
- While a lot of hard work remains to be done, at least the State Board of Education has continued to push for a top-notch educator evaluation system through the rule-making process;
- While the open enrollment process is less than perfect and opportunities could be expanded, at least Colorado still has one of the strongest laws and Denver Public Schools is making it easier for parents to exercise their options; and
- While we still have a long way to go in ensuring the best in public school financial transparency, at least some more districts and other K-12 agencies are making progress to comply with the 2010 law.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I will be back on Monday, with my turkey sandwich and leftovers.