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The Daily Churn: Friday

Updated 2:30 p.m.: Three people have removed themselves from consideration for state education commissioner, should Dwight Jones take the job of Las Vegas schools superintendent. They didn’t volunteer the info – we asked them. They are Harrison District 2 Superintendent Mike Miles, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg – “No, I remain totally committed to and invigorated by my job” – and Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry – “I have committed to being the superintendent in Aurora Public Schools for five to ten years so I am not a candidate for commissioner should the position become available.”

Meanwhile, the Colorado League of Charter Schools has sent out a Facebook message about Monday’s Oprah Winfrey show, which will feature the documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.’ ” According to League spokeswoman Stacy Rivera, “As part of the show, Oprah will make a surprise announcement about DSST,” also known as the Denver School of Science and Technology. It’s set to air at 4 p.m. Monday on KCNC Ch. 4. The documentary by Davis Guggenheim, who directed “An Inconvenient Truth,” is getting lots of attention, including its very own “anti” Facebook page, NOT waiting for Superman.


What’s churning:

News that Education Commissioner Dwight Jones is one of three finalists for the Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas) superintendent’s job has the gossip mill spinning at full speed. As always seems to be the case in such situations, possible candidates aren’t saying publicly that they are interested in the job. But that doesn’t keep people from speculating.

One name mentioned frequently is Lieutenant Gov. Barbara O’Brien. She isn’t talking, other than to praise Jones effusively. Other names: Mike Miles, superintendent of Harrison School District 2. Miles told EdNews flat-out that he isn’t interested. Also, Denver Superintendent Tom Boasberg (he said he’s not interested – “I remain totally committed to and invigorated by my job.”) and Aurora Superintendent John Barry (also saying no – “I have committed to being the superintendent in Aurora Public Schools for five to ten years so I am not a candidate for commissioner should the position become available.”)

But the fantasy candidate for many education reformers gathered this week for a conference in Aspen is Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Her boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty, lost a primary this week, and so Rhee is probably out within the next few months. She is marrying Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, and her parents live in Colorado. So a move west might be appealing. At this point, though, Rhee as commissioner remains wild speculation.

Meanwhile, you can read what the Las Vegas newspapers are saying about Jones here and here.

Gubernatorial candidates John Hickenlooper and Don Maes debated education and children’s issues today at a session organized by our partners at 9News, along with the Colorado Children’s Campaign and The Children’s Hospital. Both candidates agreed there’s little immediate likelihood of tax increases to support schools. Third-party candidate Tom Tancredo was invited to the event but canceled. Go here to read the 9News story and view video clips.

In case you missed it, the Colorado Children’s Campaign on Thursday issued a news release calling attention to the rising poverty rate among children statewide, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Also, Aurora Public Schools is publicly listing where some of its EduJobs money is going. On its website, the district on Thursday posted a list of new positions funded through the dollars, by position and by school. They include 21 teachers and classroom assistants at ten schools. We applaud the financial transparency.

What’s on tap

The State Council on Educator Effectiveness meets today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the board room at the Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave. The agenda is here.

Good reads from elsewhere: