Updated 1:30 p.m. – The Las Vegas school board that Dwight Jones will report to will be a different board than the one that offered him a job last month. Two of the board’s seven members are term limited, so the board will have a minimum of two new members after the November election. And, one incumbent is in a contested race.
The Churn doesn’t have any particular insights into Las Vegas school politics (we’ve got plenty to do tracking that in Colorado), so you can learn more in this detailed Las Vegas Review-Journal article.
Coincidentally, Jones would have faced at least two new members on the State Board of Education if he’d stayed on as Colorado education commissioner. Republicans Randy DeHoff and Peggy Littleton are term limited. Democratic incumbent Angelika Schroeder faces Republican Kaye Ferry of Vail in the 2nd District.
It seems like everybody’s doing it – studying the future of public higher education. Colorado is nearing the end of 10-month study of the future of higher ed, and a number of other states have been doing the same thing. In neighboring Utah, the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission (which is studying the whole education system) is recommending a goal of 66 percent of Utah adults having college degrees or certificates by 2020 (see Salt Lake Tribune story).
“We believe it’s an attainable goal without a huge investment,” William Sederburg, Utah’s commissioner of higher education, was quoted as saying.
The draft Colorado strategic plan references President Obama’s national goal of 60 percent of adults having degrees or certificates by 2020 (see draft Colorado plan). And, the Colorado draft lays out in detail the financial challenges that face reaching such a goal.
Incumbent at-large CU Regent Steve Bosley and challenger Melissa Hart disagreed vigorously on the relevance of faculty members’ political affiliations in providing diversity at a debate sponsored by the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs Friday evening.
“We need to hire great teachers and great researchers,” said Hart, a Democrat and a member of the faculty at the School of Law. “I don’t care if my surgeon is a great Republican surgeon, and when the Board of Regents focuses on politics it erodes public confidence in the institution and distracts them from the focus on hiring great teachers.”
Bosley, a Republican, said he disagreed “100 percent. There’s a difference between talking about a faculty member in the math department and one in political science. When there’s an opening in political science, we want to bring some balance to the faculty,” he said. “What are we afraid of?”
The candidates also responded to questions about the state fiscal situation and the future of higher education funding, tuition increases, campus consolidation, the role of elected regents compared to those in other states who are appointed, and their own goals for the CU system.
Bosley said he would like to see the university providing “affordable, accessible, world-class education.”
Hart’s goal is to collaborate with K-12 educators across the state to guarantee students access to the university if they graduate from a Colorado high school with the prerequisites necessary to be admitted to CU.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers unveiled new statistics Monday from Safe2Tell, a program within the Office of the Attorney General, saying the program has helped school officials and law enforcement intervene in thousands of potentially dangerous and life-threatening situations. Since the 2004-2005 school year, students across Colorado have filed more than 2,700 reports concerning bullying, gangs and other problems through Safe2Tell. These tips and reports have helped local school and law enforcement to intervene and put a halt to problems before they grow and have potentially disastrous consequences.
“Safe2Tell has been a tremendous asset to schools and local law enforcement in the 158 cities and 58 counties where it operates in Colorado,” Suthers said. “The success of this program should underline for educators and the public that bullying, harassment and all the other problems facing youth today can be prevented when we give kids the resources to ask for help.”
What’s on tap:
The road show of town hall meetings by the Higher Education Strategic Planning Steering Committee hits Grand Junction with a 4-6 p.m. session at Mesa State College in the College Center Ballroom 235. To see what they’re talking about, click the link to the draft strategic plan above and view the slide show that’s been shown at the meetings around the state.
The Douglas County school board convenes at 5 p.m. in the board room of the administration building, 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. Among agenda items are a report on the district’s 2010 CSAP scores and initial consideration of a charter application from the Ben Franklin Academy (see full agenda here).
The Aurora school board has a town hall meeting with middle and high school students starting at 6 p.m. at the Gateway High School Commons, 1300 S. Sable Blvd. Get the details here.