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The Daily Churn: Tuesday

What’s churning:

With the freshmen safely (we hope) studying at college, the number crunchers at the College Board have released the SAT scores for students who finished high school last year. Mean scores on the reading, math and writing tests nationwide were at about the same level as those recorded in 2009. The College Board reported that a record number of students and more minorities than ever took the test.

The SAT scores are of less interest in Colorado than ACT test results. Only 9,328 Colorado students were part of the SAT stats. (The numbers include students who graduated last spring but who took the test anytime during their high school careers.) By contrast, the ACT is mandatory for all state high school juniors, and 52,951 took the test last year. For more info, see the College Board News release, the Colorado state profile and this AP story.

President Obama gets personal in a back-to-school speech today that encourages students to work hard and celebrate diversity. Here are his remarks as prepared for delivery at 11 a.m. Mountain time:

When I was your age, I was wrestling with questions about who I was; about what it meant to be the son of a white mother and a black father, and not having that father in my life. Some of you may be working through your own questions right now, and coming to terms with what makes you different. …

So, what I want to say to you today – what I want all of you to take away from my speech – is that life is precious, and part of its beauty lies in its diversity. We shouldn’t be embarrassed by the things that make us different. We should be proud of them. Because it’s the things that make us different that make us who we are. And the strength and character of this country have always come from our ability to recognize ourselves in one another, no matter who we are, or where we come from, what we look like, or what abilities or disabilities we have.

You can watch the president’s speech on this page or on WhiteHouse.gov/live.

What’s on tap:

A public forum on the future of the state’s higher education system will be held at 4 p.m. at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave. in Pueblo. It’s the first of several forums being held around the state by the Higher Education Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

It should be an interesting tryout for the public comment experiment, in terms of how many people turn out and what they have to say. One odd twist to the hearing is that the steering committee doesn’t yet have a draft plan to present to it audience. Instead, a PowerPoint presentation outlining the panel’s work and the challenges facing higher ed will kick off the session.

The Adams 14 school board meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. at 5291 East 60th Ave. in Commerce City. The agenda includes a discussion of November ballot issues, a conversation occurring in board rooms across the state.

Westminster 50’s school board also meets tonight at 6:00 p.m. in the Lecture Hall of the new Westminster High School, 4276 West 68th Ave. There’s a handy board preview and an agenda, which shows the board will be considering a resolution opposing – like many other boards – ballot measures 60, 61 and 101.

Good reads from elsewhere:

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