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The Daily Churn: Tuesday


Updated 2:15 p.m. Senate consideration of the proposed DREAM Act got tangled up today in the tussle over repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military. Majority Democrats failed to break a filibuster on a military appropriations bill that also contained the don’t ask and DREAM Act provisions (see story).

Updated 9:30 a.m.And then there were two.
One candidate is dropping out of the competition to be Las Vegas superintendent, leaving Colorado education Commissioner Dwight Jones and Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa as the remaining finalists for now.

James Browder, superintendent of the Lee County Schools in Fort Myers, Fla., withdrew and is taking a job at a Florida state college.

The Clark County Schools will go ahead with planned community meetings and board interviews for Jones and Hinojosa on Wednesday and Thursday. But the school board on Thursday also will discuss whether to ask for another name from the firm that’s been running the candidate search, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

According to a lengthy article in this morning’s newspaper, some community activists are questioning whether Jones has the experience to run such a large district (310,000 students) and are concerned about financial problems in Dallas under Hinojosa. Also being questioned is the Las Vegas board’s intention to make a decision next month, ahead of an election in which three of seven board seats are on the ballot.

What’s churning:

If you missed seeing Bill Kurtz of the Denver School of Science and Technology waving a $1 million check over his head, go to www.oprah.com. DSST was one of six high-performing charters networks nationwide to be awarded $1 million each from Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network during Monday’s talk show. Kurtz, who is the CEO, opened the first DSST high school campus in Stapleton in 2004. The network expanded to include a middle school feeding into the Stapleton high school and, this fall, expanded to Green Valley Ranch in far northeast Denver. A second middle school opened there. Learn more at www.scienceandtech.org .

Build-out of the state broadband network will take three years, CDE chief information officer Dan Domagala predicts. A $100 million federal grant to create an affordable broadband network across the state was announced last week. The grant is seen as key to providing underserved schools, colleges, libraries and communities with high-speed Internet access. Such access is seen as important to such education programs as online learning and administration of new statewide tests on the Web.

What’s on tap:

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. eastern time today to make a announcement about the Promise Neighborhoods program. The program will provide support for community-based efforts to create cradle-to-career services, designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.

List of applicants, including five Colorado groups. More information about the program.

Aurora’s school board meets at 5 p.m. tonight in closed session to talk about “the 2011-12 budget and negotiations for 2011.” The board emerges into public session at 6 p.m. with an agenda that includes a discussion about the potential impacts of ballot measures 60, 61 and 101 and an “open dialogue” about “skill sets that students will need to be successful when entering the workforce.”

Douglas County’s school board also meets tonight at 5 p.m., first in closed session and then in public at 6 p.m. The agenda includes proposed new guidelines for the physical restraint of students by staff and proposed changes to the student attendance policy, specifically clarifying that tardies don’t count in calculating whether students are habitually truant. The board is on the road for this meeting at American Academy Charter in Castle Pines North.

Good reads from elsewhere: