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The Daily Churn: Wednesday


What’s churning:

Denver election officials on Tuesday rejected a second attempt by a group trying to launch a recall of Denver Public Schools board member Andrea Merida, again citing clerical errors. The second rejection letter, issued three days after the first rejection, cites similar issues – missing words, unnecessary legal citations, typos and grammatical errors. Alton Dillard, spokesman for the city’s Elections Division, said the group can resubmit its documents – including petition title and text, and sample petition – as often as it likes. City election officials review the paperwork to ensure it’s sufficient to meet the requirements of state law. If they do agree, that kicks off a 60-day window for the collection of signatures. For Merida’s southwest Denver district, 4,032 signatures would be required to trigger the process for staging a recall election.

Merida has been in the spotlight since her election in November, when she unseated the board member she was to replace, Michelle Moss, hours before it was expected. The move allowed Merida to vote on a controversial reform plan. Since then, she’s drawn both vocal critics and loyal fans, who applaud her willingness to take on DPS leaders. Those behind the recall have cited the fact she did not disclose her pay for U.S. Senate hopeful Andrew Romanoff while she was questioning the actions of Romanoff’s opponent, Michael Bennet, during his tenure as DPS superintendent.

Meanwhile, DPS principals have gotten a first look at the 2010 school performance ratings, which grade their schools from Distinguished to Accredited on Probation. The ratings are expected to be made public Thursday. Those outside DPS might want to take a look when they’re released – the state’s new school ratings to be released in December are expected to look something like Denver’s.

What’s on tap:

The State Board of Education kicks off two days of meetings at 9 a.m. Action items of interest on today’s agenda include requests for innovation status from two DPS schools, the Martin Luther King Early College Innovation School and the Whittier K-8 Innovation. The board has approved previous DPS innovation requests.

The board also is expected to get a detailed briefing on the work of expert committees that have been developing the criteria for a new state testing system. The deadline for their recommendations is approaching fast. Assistant Commissioner Jo O’Brien, who’s been overseeing the effort, has been given an hour of presentation time. Agenda here.

Adams 12 Five Star’s school board meets at 7 p.m. tonight at district headquarters at 1500 E. 128th Ave. in Thornton. The agenda does not include a resolution opposing ballot measures 60, 61 and 101 – but only because the board already approved that resolution on Sept. 1.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Rhee ya later?: Incumbent’s defeat in D.C. mayor’s race could spell end of chancellor’s tenure.

Angry teachers: Hundreds of LA teachers picket the Los Angeles Times over database release.

Real progress?: Federal, state test score gains on similar trajectories.