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Friday Churn: Dual enrollment jumps


What’s churning:

Nearly 21,000 Colorado students – 20,773 to be exact – took both high school classes and college courses in the 2010-11 school year, according to a new state report.

That total was 7,829 higher than the total in 2009-10, according to the study by the state departments of education and higher education. The report will be presented to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education this afternoon.

What educators call “concurrent enrollment” is fashionable among many policymakers these days. It’s seen as a way to motivate some students to finish high school and get a head start on college and to save money for both students and the state.

A 2009 law sought to expand access to concurrent enrollment. Bills pending in the 2011 legislature seek to expand it further.

According to the report, the most active concurrent enrollment colleges are Community College of Aurora, Arapahoe Community College, the University of Colorado Denver and Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

The school districts most heavily involved in concurrent enrollment are Aurora, Cherry Creek, Denver and Douglas County.

A Denver Public Schools committee of community members, business folks, DPS parents and taxpayers is meeting to advise district leaders whether to place tax increases on the November ballot.

The 2012 DPS Community Planning Advisory Committee was formed earlier this month and will meet through June, when it will present its recommendations to school board members. The 2012 CPAC is chaired by Kendra Black, the University of Colorado at Denver’s state coordinator for National History Day; Terrance Carroll, former state elected official; Bob Deibel, owner of OfficeScapes; and Lisa Flores, senior program manager at the Gates Family Foundation.

“We feel it’s important to counter the brutal cycle of state funding cuts for public education to meet the academic needs of our kids, expand enrichment programs and increase time in school, and avoid the threat of higher class sizes,” DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg said.

Backers are undoubtedly hoping Denverites are feeling as supportive of their schools as they were in 2008 when voters overwhelmingly approved a $454 million bond issue, the largest ever sought by a Colorado school district. Read a previous EdNews story about possible ballot questions. For a full calendar and materials for the 2012 CPAC, visit http://bond.dpsk12.org/.

What’s on tap:

The CCHE meeting starts at 1 p.m. in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Capitol. See the full agenda here.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Do students need remedial college classes? Two new studies by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, suggest students may do just fine without them. The studies found that as many as a third of students sidetracked into remedial classes because of their scores on standardized tests would have earned a B or better if they had simply proceeded directly to college-level courses,” according to The Hechinger Report.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.