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Wednesday Churn: Metro name change

Updated 2 p.m. – The trustees of Metro State College voted 5-2 today to change the college’s name to Denver State University.

It will require legislative approval to change the name officially, and Denver Democrats Sen. Mike Johnston and Rep. Crisanta Duran reportedly will introduce a bill to do that.

Metro is preparing to offer its first master’s degrees, and the name change also is seen as a way to raise the college’s image in general. (Get a full report on the trustee meeting from The Metropolitan student news service.)

What’s churning:

The seven members of the State Board of Education will be busier today than a teacher with a 40-student classroom.

Their agenda includes two charter school appeals, a proposed rule requiring districts to notify parents when employees are arrested, a possibly precedent-setting innovation application from the Kit Carson district and an interesting but non-binding resolution urging school boards to do more with less.

Here’s the schedule:

10:30 a.m. – Hearing and decision on the appeal by the Lotus School for Excellence at Longmont of the St. Vrain Valley school board’s decision not to award a charter.

1:30 p.m. – Hearing and decision in the case of the Youth and Family Academy vs. the Pueblo City schools. The academy is an alternative education charter that serves high-risk students. It’s had a long-running dispute with the district and wants the board to order the district to give it a three-year renewal.

3:30 p.m. – Hearing and possible vote on a proposed regulation that would require schools to notify parents within 24 hours when an employee has been arrested or charged with any felony or any of several sex-related misdemeanors. This issue has been pushed by Chair Bob Schaffer, R-4th District, stemming from past notification controversies in the Poudre schools. Text of proposed regulation.

4 p.m. – The board will discuss and vote on the innovation application from the tiny Kit Carson district, which wants exemption for a variety of state rules, including some provisions of the educator effectiveness law. Application (part 1 and part 2); CDE staff recommendations.

No time specified – Colorado school districts are bracing for big budget cuts, and a proposed board resolution calls on them to be creative, saying, “Some of the standard structures and practices in place in many Colorado school district represent inefficient uses of tax dollars, as well as obstacles to secondary-school completion and increased academic achievement for all learners.”

The resolution continues, “The Colorado State Board of Education encourages Colorado’s local Boards of Education to implement cost efficiencies” and follow recent advice by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan “to improve the productivity of the education system through smart, innovative and courageous actions including, but not limited to” streamlined administration, competitive contracting, digital learning, enhanced education options and “performance-based compensation systems.” Full text.

The board gets to dial back a bit on Thursday, when adjournment is set for 1 p.m. and the agenda consists mostly of reports.

What else is on tap:

Douglas County school board members have scheduled a special meeting to begin at 7 p.m. at the district’s administration building in Castle Rock, 620 Wilcox St. School board members are expected to vote on a resolution directing district staff to explore putting a tax increase on the November ballot and Superintendent Elizabeth Celania-Fagen will make a presentation on district choice options, including vouchers, though no vote is expected. Click here to check the agenda.

The St. Vrain Valley school board convenes at 7 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 395 South Pratt Parkway, Longmont.

Good reads from elsewhere:

New tactic: NYC considers another option – turnaround, rather than shutdown – of failing schools. New York Times.

Using Youtube: Students at a Maryland high school post fight videos to draw attention to safety concerns. Washington Post.

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