From the Statehouse

Legislative calendar Jan. 23-27

Here’s the calendar of education-related meetings in the legislature for Jan. 23-27. Floor and committee agendas are subject to change during the week.

Colorado CapitolMONDAY

Noon – Committee on Legal Services, room 0112
– House Bill 12-1001 – Educator effectiveness regulations

1:30 p.m. – House Education Committee, room 0112
– Presentation by State Land Board
– Review and approval of budgetary and strategic plans for departments of education and higher education

1:30 p.m. – Senate State Affairs Committee, room 353
– Senate Bill 12-025 – Carrying concealed handgun without a permit


7:30 a.m. – Joint education committees, room 0112
– Briefing by Department of Education on implementation status of CAP4K, unified improvement plans and educator effectiveness

Upon floor adjournment – House Education Committee, room 0112
– House Bill 12-1043 – Concurrent enrollment
– House Bill 12-1061 – Skills for Jobs Act
– House Bill 12-1081 – Technical measure on Auraria operations
– House Bill 12-1013 – Optional interventions for middle school students
– House Bill 12-1072 – College credits for prior learning

Upon floor adjournment – Senate Education Committee, room 354
– Approval of budgetary and strategic plan recommendations by departments of education and higher education


Upon floor adjournment – Joint finance committees, room LSB-A
– Briefing by PERA officials (second of three briefings)

Upon floor adjournment – House State Affairs Committee, room 0112
– House Bill 12-1067 – Contribution limits in school board, RTD races (third item, action only)

1:30 p.m. – Senate Education Committee, room 354
– Senate Bill 12-015 – Tuition rates for undocumented students

Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts and status information.

awarding leaders

Meet the nine finalists for Tennessee Principal of the Year

PHOTO: Shelby County Schools
From left: Docia Generette-Walker receives Tennessee's 2016 principal of the year honor from Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. Generette-Walker leads Middle College High School in Memphis. This year's winner will be announced in October.

Nine school leaders are up for an annual statewide award, including one principal from Memphis.

Tracie Thomas, a principal at White Station Elementary School, represents schools in Shelby County on the state’s list of finalists. Last year, Principal Docia Generette-Walker of Middle College High School in Memphis received the honor.

Building better principals has been a recent focus for Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen as roles of the school leaders change under school improvement efforts.

“Successful schools begin with great leaders, and these nine finalists represent some of the best in our state,” McQueen said. “The Principal of the Year finalists have each proven what is possible when school leaders hold students and educators to high expectations.”

The winner will be announced at the state department’s annual banquet in October, where the winner of Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year will also be announced.

The finalists are:

West Tennessee

  • Tracie Thomas, White Station Elementary, Shelby County Schools
  • Stephanie Coffman, South Haven Elementary, Henderson County School District
  • Linda DeBerry, Dyersburg City Primary School, Dyersburg City Schools

Middle Tennessee

  • Kenneth “Cam” MacLean, Portland West Middle School, Sumner County Schools
  • John Bush, Marshall County High School, Marshall County Schools
  • Donnie Holman, Rickman Elementary School, Overton County Schools

East Tennessee

  • Robin Copp, Ooltewah High School, Hamilton County Schools
  • Jeff Harshbarger, Norris Middle School, Anderson County Schools
  • Carol McGill, Fairmont Elementary School, Johnson City Schools

you better work

Hickenlooper, on national TV, calls for bipartisanship on job training for high school graduates

PHOTO: Nicholas Garcia
Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke to reporters on the eve of the 2017 General Assembly.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Sunday said Republicans and Democrats should work together to rethink how states are preparing high school graduates for the 21st century economy.

“It’s not a Republican or Democratic issue to say we want better jobs for our kids, or we want to make sure they’re trained for the new generation of jobs that are coming or beginning to appear,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, appeared on the Sunday public affairs program alongside Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, to discuss their work on healthcare.

The Colorado governor brought up workforce training after moderator John Dickerson asked what issues besides healthcare both parties should be addressing.

“Two-thirds of our kids are never going to have a four-year college degree, and we really haven’t been able to prepare them to involve them in the economy where the new generations of jobs require some technical capability,” Hickenlooper said. “We need to look at apprenticeships. We need to look at all kinds of internships.”

Hickenlooper has long supported a variety of education reform policies including charter schools and linking student test scores to teacher evaluations. Last fall he backed a new program that is expected to this year connect 250 Colorado high school students with paid job training.

Watch Hickenlooper and Kasich here. Hickenlooper’s remarks on job training begin right before the 11- minute mark.