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This week’s teaching & learning tidbits

As school ends, uncertainty about NE Denver schools

DENVER – The last day of school Thursday brought little joy to many students in the northeast section of Denver, where students embarked on their summer vacations uncertain about what kind of school they’d be coming back to in the fall. Watch KWGN2 report.

Colo. gets another Race to the Top shot

Colorado is among nine runners-up in last year’s Race to the Top contest that will get another shot at competing for $200 million.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced this morning that the additional $700 million allocated by Congress for Race to the Top will go towards a new contest focused on early education and the nine states that lost in last year’s contest, according to the industry journal Education Week. Read more in Education News Colorado.

Colorado lands $6 million for school turnaround programs

The U.S. Department of Education today said Colorado has been awarded $6 million for school turnaround work. Districts must apply for a share of the School Improvement Grant money, which will be distributed by the state. Nationwide, the program is distributing $546 million. Read more in the Denver Post.

Rhee preaches to choir in Colorado

Education reformer Michelle Rhee brought her message of educational competitiveness, school choice and high student expectations to a friendly Denver audience Thursday. Rhee, the former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., schools who now heads an education reform advocacy group, spoke to a crowd of nearly 1,000 at the spring lunch of ACE Scholarships, the organization that provides financial support for low-income students to attend private K-12 schools. Read more in Education News Colorado.

Denver Public Library’s Gigantic Used Book Sale coming up

Don’t miss the Denver Public Library’s 36th annual Gigantic Used Book Sale Thursday, June 9, through Sunday, June 12. The outdoor sale is located on the north lawn of Denver Central Library, 14th Ave. and Broadway, in Denver.

More than 70,000 items will be available, including children’s books, non-fiction and fiction books, along with CDs, DVDs and books on tape all at bargain prices starting at only 50 cents. New items will be added daily.

On Sunday, June 12, from 2 to 3 p.m. teachers and representatives from non-profit organizations (with valid I.D.) can take home any of the remaining items for FREE during the Great Book Giveaway. On Wednesday, June 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation is hosting a Members-Only Pre-Sale Party. To become a member or for more details about the Used Book Sale please visit www.dplfriends.org or call 720-865-2051.

APS board OKs ‘innovative’ move for Vista PEAK

The Aurora Public School district’s most innovative campus just got more leeway to innovate. Read more in the Aurora Sentinel.

College scholarships more competitive for students, families

DENVER – The cost of college is going up, and so are the number of families needing financial help.

That means scholarships are more competitive than ever. Watch the KWGN report.

L.A. teachers union seeks to block test of evaluation program

Even before he officially took over the top job at the Los Angeles school district in April, John Deasy said one of his top priorities was overhauling teacher evaluations. Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Program brings more fathers to elementary school

DENVER – Dads like John Sterling are welcome in any classroom. The problem is, in the neighborhood around Green Valley Ranch Elementary School, they do not always come.

“A lot of the students in my classes haven’t met their fathers or their fathers haven’t been in their lives,” Amanda Cross, a second grade teacher at Green Valley Ranch, said. Watch this 9NEWS report.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.