Rise & Shine: Tribute run honors slain STEM School student Kendrick Castillo

Good morning!

In her new book, "The Knowledge Gap," journalist Natalie Wexler argues that once students have learned to the basics of decoding words, they don't need extensive instruction on skills like identifying the main idea of a passage. Rather, they need loads of background knowledge — science, social studies, and the like. In our Q&A with Wexler, she explains why cognitive science supports her claim and why elementary reading gains on national tests can be misleading.

Also in today's roundup, we have stories on recent tributes honoring slain STEM School student Kendrick Castillo, a potential teachers strike in Park County, and the stakes in Denver's school board race.

— Ann Schimke, senior reporter

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.

KNOWLEDGE GAP The author of a new book argues that schools should start teaching science and social studies content early and often, instead of focusing on identifying the main idea or making inferences. Chalkbeat

TO FLIP OR NOT The Denver Public Schools board will welcome three new members next year, but voters will have to decide whether it also has a new direction. Denver Post

REMEMBERING KENDRICK John Castillo, the father of slain STEM School Highlands Ranch student Kendrick Castillo, made an emotional visit to the robotics team he used to coach at the school. CPR

A tribute run called “Run for the Fallen” honored Kendrick Castillo and other Colorado heroes during the 100-mile event. Highlands Ranch Herald

LGBTQ INCLUSION Faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder’s school of education created “A Queer Endeavor” five years ago to provide training around gender and sexuality for teachers. Education Week

STRIKE POSSIBLE A planned negotiating session between Park County teachers and representatives of the Park County RE-2 School District failed to materialize Saturday, potentially moving the district closer to a teachers strike. Colorado Politics

VAPING EDUCATION As vaping becomes more of a concern around the country, a respiratory director at UCHealth Memorial Hospital is offering to give free presentations at schools to educate teachers, parents and students about the dangers of e-cigarettes. KKTV

OPINION The Denver Post editorial board argues that lawmakers must take concrete measures to block kids and teens from using nicotine and marijuana products, especially through vaping devices. Denver Post

INVESTIGATION Local police and the Cherry Creek School District are investigating four Cherry Creek High School students who reportedly made an antisemitic social media post circulated over the weekend. The Sentinel

BREAKING INTO TECH A new partnership between Google, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and the YWCA of Boulder County aims to get more girls working with artificial intelligence earlier by teaching them programming at Boulder’s Google campus. 9News