These Two Colorado Counties Are Ground Zero For School Choice Across The Country

The Federalist | 10/9/2017 | Helen Raleigh
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School choice has become a hot-button issue in Colorado over the past decade. Currently two of Colorado’s largest school districts are engaging in very public fights over the future of K-12 education.

Jefferson County is Colorado’s second largest school district and serves about 86,000 students. In recent years, JeffCo has been a hot battleground between teachers unions and supporters of school choice. In 2013, three pro-reform members were elected to its school board and became the majority. Their attempts to reform curriculum and teacher’s compensation met vicious resistance from the teachers union, which organized classroom walkouts and protests.

Recall - Campaign - Funds - School - Board

A raucous recall campaign in 2015, largely funded by out-of-state funds, successfully replaced the three pro-reform school board members with members largely backed by teachers’ unions. In May 2017, this new school board replaced the superintendent, whom the previous majority had hired, with their own guy, Jason Glass. The board awarded Glass a base salary of $265,000, the highest of any superintendent in Colorado.

This new school board and superintendent have been heavy-handed with charter schools, which are public schools run by their own boards rather than the local school district. Golden View Classical Academy (GVCA), a charter school approved by the previous pro-reform majority board, became the first casualty.

GVCA - Doors - Fall - Children - Grades

GVCA opened its doors in the fall of 2015 with almost 500 children in grades K–10. During the current 2017-2018 school year, GVCA has expanded to include grade 12 and serves 670 students. It’s affiliated with the Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI), a project run by Hillsdale College.

After only two years in operation, GVCA’s PSAT data (the highest test level it has so far) is third in the district and 16th in the state. It has received great reviews from parents and children. For the 2017-2018 school lottery, there were only 13 open seats at GVCA...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Federalist
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