Jared Polis Foundation Education Report Winter 2006


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From 2002-2008, the Jared Polis Foundation (JPF) Education Report reached out to Colorado households, organizations and government entities semi-annually highlighting educational reform, advances and local educational issues.

The foundation decided to end the program in the fall 2008.

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Jared Polis Foundation Education Report Winter 2006

  1. 1. Jared Polis Foundation Update NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGEIn 2005, the Jared Polis Foundation continued to serve Colorado communities by sup-porting, encouraging, and pursuing innovation in education and technology through- PAIDout the state. Here are a few examples of the foundation’s commitment to Colorado P.O. Box 4659 Boulder, CO 80306 Denver, COand our education system: PERMIT #5031 www.jaredpolisfoundation.orgThe New America School, with campuses located in Thornton and Aurora, is a pub-lic high school devoted to providing intensive English language instruction to non- IN THIS ISSUE:native English speaking young adults, ages 16 to 20.Through a liberal arts education, Economic Benefits of Earlystudents have the opportunity to work for a high school diploma or prepare for the Childhood Education, Gifted andGED. Our schools are open from 10am to 10pm, Monday through Friday, and from Talented Education, and more!10am to 4pm on Saturdays. Significant progress has been made at the ThorntonCampus. Enrollment has increased from 76 students to 240 students in less than oneyear.To better suit students’ needs and accommodate their non-traditional schedules,Friday and Saturday classes have been incorporated into the school’s curriculum.Toprovide a more fulfilling learning experience, class length was increased to 90 min- Did you know…utes and guest speakers were added to the yearly curriculum calendar. At our Aurora The ACT Assessment Testingcampus, enrollment has increased to 425 students. In addition to an intense focus on Program is administered to allacademics, the Aurora campus highlights the importance of extracurricular activities 11th graders in Colorado andthat encourage personal growth, foster leadership, and nurture the social skills neces- includes multiple-choice tests insary for students’ success. In December, members of the school’s theater group per- four areas: English, Math, Reading and Science. The ACTformed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In the wake of Hurricane provides an overall compositeKatrina, students came together to sponsor a yard sale and successfully raised $300 score (highest score is 36) andfor hurricane evacuees. For more information please call 303-320-9854 (Aurora an average score for each skillCampus) or 303-991-0130 (Thornton Campus), or visit www.newamericaschool.org area. Colorado’s 2005 statewide results showed improvementThe Academy of Urban Learning (AUL) opened on August 15 and is located in from 2004 in the composite score Fast Fact! Fast Fact!Denver.The school serves students who are homeless, runaway, or highly mobile, and and in all areas except Math.already has approximately 45 students.The staff team includes a humanities teacher, a Source: Colorado Department ofscience teacher, a life skills teacher, and a principal who also teaches math.The school Educationwill remain small so teachers can better understand students’ academic strengths andchallenges and assist each student in progressing toward high school graduation and Fast Fact! Jared Polis Education Reportpost-secondary readiness. It will eventually serve 200 students. For more information W i n t e r 2 0 0 6please call 303-282-0900 or visit www.academyofurbanlearning.com Did you know… Colorado’s average per-pupil funding is Dear Coloradans,The Community Computer Connection (C3) team refurbishes computers that are $700 below the national average and thedonated from corporations, organizations, and individuals and provides them for free state ranks 40th in the nation in averageto qualified non-profit organizations and schools throughout Colorado. In September, per-pupil spending. I am excited to share with you the Winter 2006 issue of the Jared PolisC3 partnered with the Denver Public School District to refurbish all of the district’s Source: U.S. Census Bureau and Education Week Education Report. This report includes important information onDell TechKnow computers. In addition, C3 will participate in Hurricane Katrina gifted and talented programs, the Year of Languages, and a creativerelief efforts by donating computers to individuals in need. As of December, C3 is program that strengthens public schools through a public-private part-expected to exceed its targeted goal of donating 3,000 computers. For more infor-mation, or if you have or need computers, please contact Yolanda Innis at nership. It also discusses dual language learning opportunities and theyolanda@jaredpolisfoundation.org or call 303-530-3561. economic benefits of early childhood education. I invite you to share your thoughts with me at jpolis@jaredpolisfoundation.org or by mail at P.O. Box 4659, Boulder, CO, 80306. Happy New Year! Jared Polis Foundation P.O. Box 4659Thanks to: Marilyn Chappell, Janine Erickson, Scott Groginsky,Travis Leiker, Sara Mackey, Boulder, CO 80306Susan Mund and Spiros Protopsaltis Phone: 303-442-1130 Fax: 303-998-1694 Jared Polis www.jaredpolisfoundation.org Vice-Chairman and Member-At-Large Colorado State Board of EducationW i n t e r 2 0 0 6J a r e d P o l i s E d u c a t i o n R e p o r t Not Paid for by Tax Dollars
  2. 2. Why is Gifted Education Important? Economic Benefits of Early Childhood EducationEach child is unique. Even children from the same family can be quite We must continue to meet the learning needs of all students, including Preventing a problem is more effective than children in early care and education have: High-quality early childhood education anddifferent from one another. One important difference among children is gifted learners, and provide opportunities for advanced study so they searching for solutions after the problem Lower crime and delinquency rates care means well-trained teachers andhow they learn. can realize their potential and grow up to be productive members of our occurs. High-quality early childhood educa- Higher employment, earnings and pro- providers, meaningful curriculum, parental society. tion and care programs – including pre- ductivity involvement, access to health and social serv-The learning needs of gifted children differ greatly from those of other school, Head Start, and child care – create Less welfare dependence ices, and safe and stimulating environments.children. As recognized by Colorado law, "Gifted and talented children huge savings for taxpayers and society, esti- Higher high school graduation rates and Many studies show that quality preschool is Fast Fact! Fast Fact![are] those persons between the ages of five and twenty-one whose abil- mated between $3-$9 for every $1 invested. test scores very important for children from low-incomeities, talents, and potential for accomplishment are so exceptional or Did you know… According to several studies, the savings Better school attendance and less grade families.developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet In 2003, there were 1,161,612 children under the result from lower costs for corrections and repetitiontheir educational needs.”Thus, gifted children frequently cannot achieve other public services, improved education Stronger social and academic skills See www.jaredpolisfoundation.org for a list age of 18 living in Colorado. That’s more than 25%to the level of their abilities unless their needs are met through special outcomes, and higher incomes compared to Higher college attendance rates of research citations. of Colorado’s total population!provisions. Source: Colorado Children’s Campaign those without access to good preschool pro- Fewer special education needs, and grams. Specifically, the evidence shows that Better parenting skills later in life.Gifted learners can learn up to four times faster than typical learners,so they must be taught at a pace that is appropriate for them. For exam-ple, gifted students are much more likely to retain science and mathinstruction in class when taught two to three times faster than the “nor- Unique School Draws Students to Bouldermal” pace. In addition, gifted students need one to two repetitions to Right next to the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado resides a smallsolidify learning rather than the six to eight repetitions that most stu- educational treasure, the University Hill Elementary School.With 391 students,dents need. this unique K-5 school has a very diverse student body.While Boulder’s popula-Because of their learning speed, advanced classes, early college, and tion is over 80% Anglo, its students are 28% Anglo and 65% Hispanic.career planning can be helpful. Gifted learners thrive on complex ideas So what attracts such a diverse student body to University Hill? Among theand need to explore topics more deeply than other students. This is school’s several unique qualities, its integration of a Dual Language Curriculumimportant in planning their coursework.When they are not sufficiently provides both English Language Learners and Native Language students thechallenged, gifted learners frequently have behavior problems and are at opportunity to become literate in both English and Spanish. The program pro-risk of dropping out. Gifted students also benefit academically, socially, vides a great learning experience and draws students to the school. Also, itsand emotionally when they interact with peers of similar abilities. This English Literacy Program for English instruction emphasizes experiential educa-interaction provides a supportive environment that allows them to be tion - learning by doing.themselves and perform well. Several studies have shown that single-language and bilingual students learn and understand information differently, and that speaking two languages offers signif- Did you know… icant benefits across a range of complex mental tasks. For example, both younger 92% of Colorado’s children are educated Fast Fact! Fast Fact! and older bilinguals are better able to respond to rapidly changing mental tasks in public schools. Source: Public Education & Business Coalition VISION Program compared to those who only speak one language. Education reform is taking place all across options, state waivers from local school teaching or tutoring in a subject area, while Colorado, thanks to new and entrepreneurial board policies allow each VISION school and the rest of the time students may study at 2005:The Year of Languages leadership that turns fresh ideas into action. program to control program design, teacher home. Classes and tutoring are available to all An example is the five-year-old VISION ini- hiring and dismissal, and salary policies. To Delta students. This past summer, the Colorado State Board of Education and the Colorado’s language teachers hope that this initiative captures the pub- tiative of the Delta County School District, ensure accountability, all VISION students Colorado Legislature passed a resolution establishing 2005 as the Year of lic’s attention and interest, and builds awareness and support for lan- which includes the “VISION Home and participate in the Colorado Student “The cornerstone is the relationship of trust Languages in Colorado to stress the critical importance of language edu- guage programs. For example, the University of Northern Colorado Community Program” and three public con- Assessment Program. between students and parents and the school cation for the state’s future. Led by the American Council on the dedicated its annual summer institute to the initiative and the local pub- tract schools - independent schools that pro- system,” according to Livingston. “Trust Teaching of Foreign Languages, this initiative urges students, parents, lic broadcasting station (KUNC) made weekly announcements about vide an education under contract with the The Home and Community Program (HCP) made this possible.” Serving nearly 15% of businesses, public officials and communities to embrace the importance the importance of language education. Throughout the school year, district. One of the schools offers an experi- “allows students and parents to choose what the district’s students,VISION provides flex- of language learning and cultural understanding. teachers have organized poster and essay contests and world language ential learning and arts emphasis and operat- kind of an education program is best suited ible public education choices and assistance hallways; participated in panel discussions, symposia, dance workshops, ed as a private school before contracting for for them and receive some financial support,” to homeschool families. The Year of Languages is an opportunity to focus attention on the aca- reading programs, and international festivals; and have educated com- the district. says Livingston. Students and parents create, demic, social and economic benefits of studying other languages and munities about foreign language education in Colorado. with a district employee, an individualized Based on the principles of partnership, trust, cultures from around the world. Learning another language is not just VISION’s architect is Dr. Laddie Livingston, education program and the district allocates flexibility and choice, VISION is an encour- for diplomats, international businesses and travelers anymore. Studying The enthusiastic participation in the Year of Languages shows the former Superintendent, who believed that funds to each full-time student. At least 180 aging example of a creative public-private another language and culture makes students more qualified and com- tremendous support for language education throughout our state, and the future required meaningful choices with- of the required 720 hours of annual learning partnership that other districts can explore, petitive in today’s global economy, and also helps them develop better surely Coloradans will also show their support during the next phase of in the public school system. For students take place outside the home with an educa- so that every child can learn and thrive. relationships within their own community and with the rest of the the campaign, Discover Languages, which runs through 2006. For more pursuing homeschooling and private school tor, who is an approved community member world. information visit www.actfl.org