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Tuesday Churn: R2T pie gets sliced

What’s churning:

All but 19 Colorado school districts will share in the $8.9 million available to districts through the Race to the Top grant won by Colorado last December.

The bulk of the money, as well as a similar amount granted to the state, is to be used for implementation of the state’s educator effectiveness system.

Participating districts had to sign agreements with the state Department of Education governing use of the funds.

Only 14 school districts chose not to participate in the program, the only large ones being Falcon and Roaring Fork. Five additional districts weren’t eligible for technical reasons.

Learn more:

Names in the news:

Amy Slothower, executive director of Get Smart Schools for nearly five years, has announced she’s leaving the organization, which works to help start new autonomous schools for low-income students and train leaders for such schools. The group also was involved in the creation of Denver Public Schools’ new choice system. In an email, Slothower said she plans “to transition out of” her job as executive director and leave the post next fall.

Deborah Meier, senior scholar at New York University’s Steinhardt School and leader of the small schools movement, is the guest speaker at Friday’s Hot Lunch speaker series. Meier, who began her career as a teacher in low-income schools, is the first educator to win a MacArthur “genius” award. She is an outspoken critic of state-mandated standards and tests, and blogs with education historian Diane Ravitch for Education Week. Hot Lunch info.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be the keynote speaker at the ACE Scholarships annual luncheon May 29 at the downtown Denver Hyatt Convention Center. The two-term governor – from 1999 to 2007 – “championed major reforms to the state’s education system, raising academic standards, requiring accountability in public schools and creating the most ambitious school choice program in the nation,” according to ACE. Click here for details.

What’s on tap:

The new Colorado Collaborative for Girls in STEM holds its first information meeting from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. today at Skyline High School, 600 E. Mountain Valley Ave. in Longmont. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the effort is intended to enable collaboration within the public and private sectors to bring more underserved girls and women into STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – fields. Learn more.

Douglas County school board members meet at 5 p.m. today and go into closed session for two hours, reconvening in public at 7 p.m. at 620 Wilcox St. Agenda items include a presentation by principals about the proposal changing high school schedules for 2012-13, including requiring teachers to teach an additional class, and the second quarter 2011-12 financial report.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Straight up with Fagen: Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute has posted a Q and A with Douglas County School District Superintendent Liz Fagen on his Straight Up blog in Education Week. Hess, who helped advise the Dougco board in the superintendent search that ended in Fagen’s hiring, talks with Fagen about proposed assessment and evaluation changes, in addition to vouchers.

Urban teacher residencies: NBC Nightly News takes a look at teacher residency programs, modeled on medical school internships, with a focus on Colorado’s own Boettcher Teachers Program. National teacher residency programs have a retention rate of 85 percent; in Denver, it’s 96 percent, according to the report.

Tech titans help undocumented: A lot of funding behind the push to give undocumented students more affordable access to college is being bankrolled by Silicon Valley heavy hitters, according to this story in The Wall Street Journal.

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.

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