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Colo. Springs school district wins $1 million for reforms

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Harrison School District 2 led by Superintendent Mike Miles will receive a $1.1 million grant from the Daniels Fund to be spent on ongoing educational reforms, including the building two teacher-training laboratories.

The newspaper reports that this is one of the larger grants in the 10-year history of the Daniels Fund.

In the story, Linda Childears, chief executive officer of the Daniels Fund, pointed out that the district has “significantly increased student achievement, narrowed the achievement gap and implemented one of the most rigorous salary programs in the nation.” Childears said fund officials were particularly impressed with Harrison’s philosophy that at-risk students can achieve as much as any other student through quality curriculum and highly effective teachers. About 75 percent of D-2’s 10,800 students receive free and reduced lunches, meaning they are lower income.

Some of the grant money will be used to build training classrooms at Carmel Middle School and Monterey Elementary, the newspaper reports. And some will be spent on developing and administering new ways to measure student achievement.

However, not everyone will be jumping for joy at the news. The newspaper reports that some union members and other critics of current reforms are trying to recall Harrison board members for instituting a pay for performance system and a Coherent Governance policy, which they believe weakens teacher tenure protection and gives too much power to the superintendent.

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