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Monday Churn: DPS losing reform chief

Updated – Denver Public Schools officials announced today that the district is losing its chief of school reform and innovation.

Noemi Donoso, who came to the district in the summer of 2010, is leaving DPS to take the position of chief education officer for the Chicago Public Schools.

Superintendent Tom Boasberg, in an email to DPS staff, said Donoso would transition to her new post in June.

Boasberg credited Donoso with a number of achievements. They included co-drafting the District Charter Compact focusing on ensuring equity and access for students across the district, working with charter schools to establish the first DPS center-based programs for students with disabilities, and drafting policy setting the criteria for innovation status.

Donoso, who was in Chicago today, released this statement:

“While at DPS, I have been incredibly fortunate to be a part of some of the most progressive reforms in the country. I know of no district in the country with an entrepreneurial spirit as strong as DPS. I appreciate all that I have learned from my peers and colleagues at DPS, and know this will serve as an invaluable experience as I take on the challenge of supporting the more than 400,000 children in Chicago.”

Boasberg’s email stated that DPS will immediately begin an intensive search to find Donoso’s replacement.

What’s churning:

There’s an air of expectation around Capitol Hill this week, especially concerning school finance and the education commissioner’s job.

This afternoon, the House Education Committee takes up Senate Bill 11-230, the 2011-12 school finance act, which would cut $250 million from basic K-12 funding. Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, would like to reduce that cut – by some accounts to less than $100 – but he’s being tight-lipped about how that could be accomplished.

On Tuesday morning, the State Board of Education will hold another executive session following last week’s closed interviews with commissioner candidates.

Other questions to be answered this week include what between-session legislature study groups will be approved by the Legislative Council (four of interest to education are among the contenders), and the fate of House Bill 11-1248, the proposal to change the membership of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association board. Some reports have it that Republican support is slipping on the House State Affairs Committee.

A couple of things aren’t in much doubt this week. The full Senate will give final approval to Senate Bill 11-126, which would establish lower tuition rates for undocumented students, and the Senate Education Committee will recommend confirmation of Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia as director of the Department of Higher Education.

What’s on tap:

Check here for the full legislative calendar.

TUESDAY

The State Board of Education convenes at 10 a.m. in executive session to discuss commissioner selection.

The Douglas County school board meets at 5 p.m. at 620 Wilcox Street in Castle Rock. Agenda

WEDNESDAY

The St. Vrain school board will have a joint study session with the Frederick City Council at 6 p.m. at High School, 600 Fifth St.

The Adams 12-Five Star school board meets at 7 p.m. in the Aspen Room of the Education Conference Center of district headquarters, 1500 E. 128th Ave. in Thornton. Agenda

THURSDAY

The Jefferson County school board holds a special meeting at 5 p.m. at district headquarters, 1829 Denver West Drive, Building. 27, Golden. Agenda

FRIDAY

The State Council for Educator Effectiveness meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Colorado Children’s Campaign, 1580 Lincoln St., Suite 420

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