Colorado

Monday Churn: Busy week ahead

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

There’s a lot to watch on the Colorado education scene this week. Tuesday, the Educational Success Task Force is expected to start narrowing the bill ideas it may propose to the 2012 legislature and, on Wednesday, the State Board of Education again takes up some of the key issues facing it this fall, including educator evaluation rules.

Thursday’s Colorado Commission on Higher Education meeting may provide further indications of what commissioners are thinking about priorities for the higher education master plan they are creating.

It’s also a busy week for school board candidate forums.

In case you missed it: Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.,  on Friday announced a new federal initiative to improve teacher preparation. Details & links

What’s on tap / Meetings:

TODAY

Campaign contribution and spending reports are due from the committees supporting and opposing Proposition 103. It’s also the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 1 election.

TUESDAY

The Educational Success Task Force meets from 1-5 p.m. at the Community College System offices, 9101 E. Lowry Blvd. The legislator/citizen study panel will be considering legislation it might recommend, including possible changes in high school testing. Agenda

The Douglas County school board has a 5:30 p.m. meeting at 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. The public portion of the meeting is slated for 7:10 p.m. Agenda

The Aurora school board meets in closed session at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the superintendent’s contract. It convenes in public at 6 p.m. at 1085 Peoria St. The agenda includes a resolution in support of Proposition 103, the statewide ballot initiative to increase sales and income taxes for education.

WEDNESDAY

The State Board of Education meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the boardroom at 201 E. Colfax Ave. Top agenda items include briefings on implementation of the new state content standards and proposed graduation guidelines, plus another public hearing on proposed regulations for implementation of the educator effectiveness law. Agenda

Padres y Jovenes Unidos, an education advocacy group, will hold a 5 p.m. rally outside the Capitol to urge passage of legislation to reduce what the group believes is inappropriate disciplinary methods in many schools. The Legislative Task Force to Study School Discipline is considering possible legislation on the topic and meets next on Oct. 18.

The Adams 12-Five Star school board is hosting a community conversation about education values and priorities at 7 p.m. at Thornton High School, 9351 Washington St. More

THURSDAY

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education meets starting at 10 a.m. at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. The agenda hasn’t been posted yet, but much of the commission’s time at meetings this fall will be devoted to work on the higher education master plan called for by 2011 legislation.

Jefferson County school board members meet at 5 p.m. in closed session to discuss their superintendent’s evaluation. The public portion is scheduled to begin about 6 p.m. at 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. The agenda includes discussion on a motion to support Proposition 103, the statewide ballot initiative to raise taxes to increase education funding.

Denver Public Schools board members meet at 4:30 p.m. in closed session to discuss their superintendent’s evaluation. They convene in public at about 5:30 p.m. for a work session focusing on the district’s School Performance Framework results and Denver Plan goals. Agenda

What’s on tap / Campaign events:

TODAY

DPS District 5 candidates Jennifer Draper Carson and Arturo Jimenez will appear at a 6 p.m. forum at North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd.

DPS at-large candidates will participate in a 7 p.m. forum at East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade.

Jefferson County school board candidates have a 7 p.m. forum at Shepherd of the Hills Church, 11500 West 20th Ave., in Lakewood.

WEDNESDAY

Candidates for DPS at-large and District 5 will be featured during a 7 p.m. forum at Democratic Party headquarters, 777 Santa Fe Drive.

Jefferson County school board candidates have a 7 p.m. forum at the Columbine Library, 7706 W. Bowles Ave., in Littleton.

THURSDAY

All DPS candidates have a 6:30 p.m. forum at Bruce Randolph School, 3955 Steele St.

FRIDAY

A forum on Proposition 103 will be held at 7:30 a.m. the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs in the second-floor Terrace Room at 1380 Lawrence St. Participants include proponent state Sen. Rollie Heath, opponent Penn Pfiffer of the Independence Institution, political consultant Eric Sondermann and Todd Snidow of bond house George K. Baum and Co. RSVP here

What's Your Education Story?

As the 2018 school year begins, join us for storytelling from Indianapolis educators

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy/Chalkbeat
Sarah TeKolste, right, and Lori Jenkins at a Teacher Story Slam, in April.

In partnership with Teachers Lounge Indy, Chalkbeat is hosting another teacher story slam this fall featuring educators from across the city.

Over the past couple of years, Chalkbeat has brought readers personal stories from teachers and students through the events. Some of our favorites touched on how a teacher won the trust of her most skeptical student, why another teacher decided to come out to his students, and one educator’s call to ramp up the number of students pursuing a college education.

The event, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, is free and open to the public — please RSVP here.

Event details:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Get tickets here and find more on Facebook

More in What's Your Education Story?

School safety

Hiring more security officers in Memphis after school shootings could have unintended consequences

PHOTO: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tennessee’s largest district, Shelby County Schools, is slated to add more school resource officers under the proposed budget for next school year.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson earmarked $2 million to hire 30 school resource officers in addition to the 98 already in some of its 150-plus schools. The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget Tuesday.

But an increase in law enforcement officers could have unintended consequences.

A new state law that bans local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials could put school resource officers in an awkward position.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen recently reminded school personnel they are not obligated to release student information regarding immigration status. School resource officers employed by police or sheriff’s departments, however, do not answer to school districts. Shelby County Schools is still reviewing the law, but school board members have previously gone on the record emphasizing their commitment to protecting undocumented students.

“Right now we are just trying to get a better understanding of the law and the impact that it may have,” said Natalia Powers, a district spokeswoman.

Also, incidents of excessive force and racial bias toward black students have cropped up in recent years. Two white Memphis officers were fired in 2013 after hitting a black student and wrestling her to the ground because she was “yelling and cussing” on school grounds. And mothers of four elementary school students recently filed a lawsuit against a Murfreesboro officer who arrested them at school in 2016 for failing to break up a fight that occurred off-campus.

Just how common those incidents are in Memphis is unclear. In response to Chalkbeat’s query for the number and type of complaints in the last two school years, Shelby County Schools said it “does not have any documents responsive to this request.”

Currently, 38 school resource officers are sheriff’s deputies, and the rest are security officers hired by Shelby County Schools. The officers respond and work to prevent criminal activity in all high schools and middle schools, Hopson said. The 30 additional officers would augment staffing at some schools and for the first time, branch out to some elementary schools. Hopson said those decisions will be based on crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods and school incidents.

Hopson’s initial recommendation for more school resource officers was in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and sparked a wave of student activism on school safety, including in Memphis.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s recent $30 million budget boost would allow school districts across Tennessee to hire more law enforcement officers or improve building security. Measures to arm some teachers with guns or outlaw certain types of guns have fallen flat.


For more on the role and history of school resource officers in Tennessee, read our five things to know.


Sheriff’s deputies and district security officers meet weekly, said Capt. Dallas Lavergne of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. When the Memphis Police Department pulled their officers out of school buildings following the merger of city and county school systems, the county Sheriff’s Office replaced them with deputies.

All deputy recruits go through school resource officer training, and those who are assigned to schools get additional annual training. In a 2013 review of police academies across the nation, Tennessee was cited as the only state that had specific training for officers deployed to schools.