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Thursday churn: A national teacher corps

UpdatedU.S. Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is proposing a national teacher corps to recruit and train 100,000 educators to work in high-needs schools over the next five years.

Bennet, in a letter to President Obama released today, urges the plan for a Presidential Teacher Corps be included in the budget that the president is sending to Congress next week.

The proposal from the former Denver Public Schools superintendent would create “a new kind of portable license” for teachers who serve in high-needs schools and demonstrate they are highly effective based on multiple measures.

Read the news release and Bennet’s letter to Obama here.

The bill intended to help protect young athletes against concussions has its first legislative committee hearing today, teed up by a news conference at which sponsors will tout the proposal.

Senate Bill 11-040 would require youth sports coaches to take training in recognizing concussion symptoms, require an athlete be removed from practice or a game if a coach suspects a concussion and also require such athletes be medically evaluated and have written clearance before returning to play.

The measure is dubbed the Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act in memory of a Grandview High School freshman who collapsed during a football game in September 2004 and died later at a hospital. Jake’s mother, Kelli Jantz, and former Bronco Ed McCaffrey are scheduled to appear at the 12:30 p.m. news conference in room 356 of the Capitol.

The bill’s prime sponsors are Sens. Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, and Linda Newell, D-Littleton. The measure will be heard during the Senate Health and Human Services Committee’s 1:30 p.m. meeting, also in room 356.

Past Education News Colorado stories on the issue:

In case you missed it, the latest public figure to enter the fray in the recall attempt of Denver school board president Nate Easley is Wellington Webb, the former mayor. He’s backing Easley, according to this report by Melanie Asmar at Westword.

What’s on tap:

The State Board of Education convenes the final day of its two-day February meeting at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at 201 E. Colfax Ave. Link to agenda.

On the agenda is an application under the Innovation Schools Act from the 109-student Kit Carson School District, which is seeking a waiver from the educator effectiveness law, also known as Senate Bill 10-191. Among other requests, Superintendent Gerald Keefe and his board want the ability to hire non-licensed teachers in the district on the eastern plains. They’re also asking for greater flexibility in evaluating educators and renewing their contracts.

A vote on Kit Carson’s innovation status isn’t scheduled until March 9 but the board has allotted 20 minutes for discussion because it’s the first district to seek a waiver from the law and “the State Board’s policy determination could establish significant precedent for other potential applicants,” the agenda notes.

Read the district’s innovation application here and see the recommended changes by state officials here.

Good reads from elsewhere:

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