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Tuesday Churn: Concussion bill

What’s churning:

Senate Bill 11-040, the Jake Snakenberg Youth Concussion Act, will be signed this afternoon by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The measure is one of the higher profile education-related bills of the session. But, like many other bills this year, its scope is relatively limited. Here are the details:

  • The law applies to organized, competitive athletic activities for youth aged 11 to 18 but doesn’t apply to college athletics of any type. High school athletics already are covered by similar requirements.
  • Every middle school, high school, recreation district and club coach shall take annual training in concussion recognition, which can be taken online.
  • Youths suspected of having suffered concussions are to be removed immediately from games and practices and parents notified.
  • Athletes can’t be returned to play until cleared by a physician, osteopath, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or psychologist with special training. Specially trained chiropractors can clear athletes who are part of the U.S. Olympic training program.
  • Athletic trainers are allowed to supervise an athlete’s return to play after medical clearance.
  • The bill contains no enforcement or reporting requirements and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

The legislation, named after a high school athlete who died of head injuries in 2004, has been pushed by the Brain Injury Alliance, The Children’s Hospital, assorted other medical groups and the Denver Broncos. The signing is scheduled during a 2 p.m. ceremony in the Capitol’s west foyer. Final bill text.

Meanwhile, seven Colorado middle schools have been named “Schools to Watch” using criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. The schools are Altona Middle School in Longmont, Gypsum Creek Middle School in Eagle County, Hotchkiss K-8 School in Hotchkiss, Jenkins Middle School in Colorado Springs, Powell Middle School in Littleton, Steamboat Springs Middle School in Steamboat and Russell Middle School in Colorado Springs, which is receiving the award for a second year. Learn more in this press release.

What’s on tap:

Critics of Denver school board president Nate Easley have until 5 p.m. today to submit the minimum number of signatures needed to trigger a recall election.

Good reads from elsewhere:

In case you missed it, the New York Times on Monday launched an interesting discussion about how to raise the status of teachers in our nation’s schools. A starting point was a report, What the U.S. Can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Education Reform Efforts, which found teachers in high-scoring countries such as Finland and Japan have higher status and are typically paid better relative to other workers. The newspaper also asked nine experts to weigh in with essays.

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