Jared Polis Foundation Education Report Spring 2004


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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 Spring 2004

  1. 1. Important Issues In Higher EducationIf current trends continue, Colorado’s with a new policy from the Coloradopublic colleges and universities will Commission on Higher Education (CCHE),receive no public money by 2010. This which sets certain high school coursedire prediction comes as the state has requirements for admission to public,added new admission standards for four-year universities. Specifically, thestudents seeking to enter public four-year class of 2008 must complete four yearsuniversities. of English, three years of math, natural science, and social science, and twoThe first major issue facing higher edu- years of academic electives. For thecation is funding. Much of the reason for class of 2010, requirements add a fourththe funding crisis is inclusion of college year of math and two years of foreigntuition in the state’s revenue limits that language. The purpose of the changesare set by the constitutional amendment is to increase the success of students inknown as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights college. An alternative “opt-out” testing(TABOR). Legislators in 2004 are propos- mechanism is also being developed.ing a variety of bills that aim to addressthis financial concern. A newspaper column last fall by education leaders Andy Hartman, VanThe state has cut higher education by Schoales, and Carrie Besnette laid out$170 million in the past two years ($206 several ways that public schools canmillion including the loss of financial prepare their students for the CCHEaid), and the University of Colorado changes, including:Office of Budget and Finance estimatesthat this trend will worsen with funding • Counseling services to students -dropping from $686 million in fiscal year especially minority students and those2002 to $83 million by 2009. To address from low-income families - that helphigher education’s funding and access students know what classes they needneeds, state legislators are proposing for college entry;several options, including: • Ensuring that required classes are available and of high quality in all• Referring measures to the ballot on schools across the state; and TABOR and other issues in the state • Focusing on small high schools to help constitution. students get enough attention for their• Shifting state funding to college academic needs. vouchers so colleges could have an enterprise status, and be released from Sources: Rocky Mountain News, By Andy Hartman, Van Schoales and Carrie A. Besnette, “Speakout: TABOR’s revenue and spending limits. Facing reality in our high schools” 10/31/03, A bill granting such enterprise status to Denver Post, By Dave Curtin, “College Funding the University of Colorado passed the Leads Education Bills,” 1/4/04, Rocky Mountain legislature overwhelmingly last year, News, Peggy Lowe, “Dueling Tuition Bills,” 1/20/04 but was vetoed by Governor Owens. Additional links: Several CCHE College Prepara-• Fixing the rate of tuition over four tion initiatives are currently available to schools, years to help families plan their students and parents. Find these links on our college expenses. website at www.jaredpolisfoundation.org/ jperlinks.shtml.• Providing college loan forgiveness to veteran teachers to teach in study specialties where there are teacher shortages - math, science, special education, and bilingual education.• Offering in-state tuition rates to immi- grants who meet high school comple- tion and attendance requirements and promise to become a resident.Schools and school districts around thestate are looking at ways to comply
  2. 2. Innovations In Education A New Coalition to Increase 2004 Teacher of the Year Civic Engagement Congratulations Henry McIntosh Henry McIntosh was named the state’s Colorado Civic Canopy top teacher by the Colorado Depart-A new diverse, non-partisan network ment of Education in December 2003.has formed to increase civic engage- Mcintosh is a language arts teacher atment across Colorado. The Colorado John Mall High School in Walsenburg. HeCivic Canopy promotes collaboration by created an advanced-placement Englishindividuals, organizations and institutions program for students and a Studentto better coordinate resources and strat- Senate. He helps the students believeegies in schools and local communities. in themselves and learn how to excel.The Canopy aims to: While meeting with Jared Polis, he said • Examine issues of civic engagement one of his goals, as Teacher of the Year, • Foster dialogue among various is to raise the profile of the position as a groups spokesperson for teachers. • Identify strategies to increase civic engagement Henry McIntosh, • Develop common indicators of Teacher of the Year success, • Coordinate efforts among different groupsAll are welcome to participate in thiseffort. For more information, emailinfo@civiccanopy.org. Six Promising Practices for Meeting the Civic Mission of SchoolsSchools develop competent and respon-sible citizens when they: 1. Provide instruction in government, history, law, and democracy. 2. Incorporate current issues of interest to students into classroom discussions. 3. Help students apply what they learn CTC through service-learning tied to curriculum and instruction. of the Year 4. Offer extracurricular activities for 2003 young people to get involved in their schools or communities. 5. Encourage student participation Project YES (Youth Envisioning Social change) in school governance. 6. Encourage student par- Through the Community Computer Connec- ticipation in simulations tion “C3” associated program, the Jared Polis of democratic processes Foundation honors our Colorado Community and procedures. Technology Centers (CTC)each year. Lafayette based Project YES provides opportunities forSource: Civic Mission of diverse youth to engage in digital photography, digitalSchools Report, CIRCLE andCarnegie Corporation of art, web design, and graphic arts creation. ProjectNew York, 2003, p. 6; YES was awarded Outstanding CTC of the Year for thewww.civicmissionof amazing work they do in the community. Please visit themschools.org online at www.project-yes.org
  3. 3. Good Students Make Good Citizens Meeting the Complete Mission of Colorado Schools: What will it take?Public schools help students gain academic citizens committed to civic participation likeknowledge and work skills, and prepare them staying informed on current events, respectingto maintain the health of our democracy. While civic institutions, voting, serving in leadershipColorado schools focus on academics - as roles, and running for elected office.measured by reading, writing, and math testscores - concerns mount about their civic To do this well, Colorado schools need supportmission. In other words, providing students from the public and local communities. Localwith the knowledge and skills to be the community groups can form partnerships withcaretakers of our rights, responsibilities, schools to connect student learning to localinstitutions, and procedures associated with government affairs, political leaders and com-citizenship in our democratic republic. munity members. When students work through real issues, solve community problems, andColorado schools can help students succeed apply their academic knowledge of civicacademically and become good citizens so concepts toward issues that matter to all, theythey can become our future leaders. But, the become young leaders. For example, studentsstrategies needed - new community supports from Skyview Elementary School talked to aand partnerships - may be different than those nutrition policy group last spring about theirused to raise test scores. research and policy suggestions for healthier school snacks. Young leaders can partner withResearch confirms that active learning strategies today’s leaders, who can act as mentors andthat connect civic concepts with community provide valuable lifelong lessons that benefitissues, civic institutions, and political processes our society.offer the greatest civic learning success. Age-appropriate K-12 civic learning experiences andthe understanding of civic rituals are importantelements. Together, these strategies producemore informed, thoughtful, and engaged About The Jared Polis FoundationThe Jared Polis Foundation grew out of Jared accept and distribute working Pentium IIPolis’ vision to promote statewide support for or faster computers and other workingeducators, students, and communities. Our components and peripherals such asvision has grown to inspire educators, involve monitors, printers, keyboards, mice, etc.parents and communities, and motivate stu-dents to succeed in today’s rapidly changing The School Choice program helps establishworld. We establish and operate innovative new learning opportunities for different kindsteaching and technology resource programs of learners. The Jared Polis Foundation hasthroughout the state. Below is a description of helped found or supportsome of our programs. schools that focus on language, leadershipThe Education Station is a mobile technology and academics. Currentbus that offers hands-on age-appropriate opportunities includetechnology education programs to children. collaborations with public school districts,The Jared Polis Foundation works closely with community centers andthe Community Computer Connection “C3”. nonprofit organizations.The C3 team refurbishes computers that aredonated from corporations, organizations, andindividuals and places them into qualified non- Find out more about our progams atprofits and schools throughout Colorado. We www.jaredpolisfoundation.org
  4. 4. Funding And PerformanceOur last edition compared the 2002National Assessment of EducationalProgress (NAEP) standardized testresults with state education fundinglevels. In 2003, all states participated inthe NAEP reading and math tests for 4thand 8th grades. Trends from the 2003results again show better scores amongstates with higher per pupil funding (seegraphs), revealing that state funding isan important factor in students’ learning.Not all states followed this pattern. Colo-rado, in fact, scored above the nationalaverage on reading and 8th grade math,and at about the national average for4th grade math, even though the stateranks 39th in funding. Hispanic studentsscored higher than the national averagesfor 4th and 8th grade math, and blackstudents scored at about the nationalaverage for math, but below the nationalaverage for 4th grade reading.NAEP is not the only measurement ofstudent proficiency. Colorado’s assess-ment, the Colorado Student AssessmentProgram (CSAP), tests students inreading, writing, math, and science for avariety of grade levels. The 2003 CSAPfound student improvements in nearly allgrades for reading and writing. Changesin student scores in math and sciencehave been uneven.Also, performance gaps continuebetween female and male students, aswell as white and nonwhite students,despite improved scores among blackand Hispanic students. The racial“achievement gap” is also seen in thestate’s graduation rates.Funding is only one important contribu-tor to student achievement. Coloradolawmakers, education leaders, andcitizens are examining possible changesin constitutional measures that couldaffect money for education. As we ad-dress these decisions, we will continueto talk about the state dollars to supportstudents’ academic needs. Colorado is represented by a purple dot on all graphs.
  5. 5. Non-profit org. US POSTAGE PAID Denver, CO Promoting Education, PERMIT #5031Technology & Community in Colorado INSIDEwww.jaredpolisfoundation.org New Information on the link between funding Recycled Paper and performance! For More Information: www.jaredpolisfoundation.org/ jperlinks.shtml scott@jaredpolis.com or call Scott at 303-333-3580