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Wednesday Churn: ESEA makeover


What’s churning:

While states like Colorado scramble to draft their requests for waivers from the No Child Left Behind law (the current if aging version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), the Senate Education Committee is supposed to begin work today on a new version of the law.

According to our partners at Education Week, the version of the bill currently being shopped by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Republican Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming would:

  • Leave teacher evaluation methods up to the states.
  • Allow more flexibility in testing systems.
  • Scrap the current AYP grading structure for all schools in favor of an emphasis on the 5 percent worst performing schools and the 5 percent of schools with the worst achievement gaps.
  • Retain the Obama administration’s competitive programs such as Race to the Top.

But Education Secretary Arne Duncan and advocacy groups for minority and disabled students reportedly aren’t wild about the draft.

Learn more in this EdWeek article.

The Quick and the Ed blog also has some good detail on the Harkin/Enzi bill.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet recently weighed in on the bill in this news release.

What’s on tap:

The superintendent forum on the State of Our Districts, sponsored by the Public Education & Business Coalition, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the University of Colorado Denver, will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Seawall Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

All nine candidates for the Denver Public Schools board or their representatives are expected to be on hand at a 10 a.m. forum at the Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, 360 Acoma St., hosted by the Denver Quality After-school Connection. The forum is one of the last that will bring together candidates for the three seats that are being contested on the Nov. 1 all-mail ballot.

The St. Vrain board has a 6 p.m. study session 
at Niwot High School, 8989 E. Niwot Road.

The Adams 12-Five Star board meets at 7 p.m. in the Aspen Room of the Educational Support Center, 1500 E. 128th Ave. in Thornton. Agenda