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Wednesday Churn: A “Bear” book

What’s churning:

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock today will kick off the campaign to distribute copies of “Maybe A Bear Ate It” to the state’s four-year-olds in an effort to promote the love of reading and literacy.

The One Book 4 Colorado campaign is an extension of the annual effort by the Denver Preschool Program to distribute books to Denver four-year-olds.

“One Book 4 Colorado is an excellent example of how we can learn from and replicate successful efforts of others to improve early literacy programs statewide,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia in a statement. “In this case, we learned from Denver Preschool’s One Book One Denver, which has a proven track record for inspiring early reading with families and children.”

Books will be distributed to children through April 29 at library events, doctors’ offices and other locations. Books will be available in English and Spanish and will be accessible to children with special needs.

“Maybe A Bear Ate It” was written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley. According to a program news release, it’s “the story of a little critter and the emotional rollercoaster that’s set in motion by the loss of his favorite book. At first he is bewildered, then he begins to worry and finally panic sets in. As his imagination spins out of control, a bear, a dinosaur, a shark and an elephant are just some of the wild animals who might be responsible for making his beloved book disappear.”

Get more information here about One Book 4 Colorado.

Today’s event will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Denver Central Library.

An analysis of Denver Public Schools’ new enrollment system depicts its method of assigning students to schools as largely successful. Gary Kochenberger, a professor and co-director of CU-Denver’s Decision Science program, spent time inside DPS offices with the team that designed the algorithm and watched as it was tested for functionality. His findings were was submitted to A+ Denver’s SchoolChoice Transparency Committee, which on Tuesday released a report:

Dr. Kochenberger determined the system was run correctly and without special treatment, that schools’ priorities and capacity were properly included in the algorithm, and that the data collected from students was accurately reflected through the input process with minor data entry error.

The report states 70 percent of DPS students filling out the enrollment forms received their first choice of schools and 86 percent received one of their five choices. The bulk of students not placed in one of their choices involved preschool and kindergarten students.

Kochenberger noted the average number of schools listed was 2.5, rather than five. He also recommended the process be automated as much as possible to reduce the potential for errors. Read the report.

A second analysis of the enrollment system is being performed by CU-Denver and is due within the month.

The Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents is hosting its annual conference this Saturday in the North Classroom building on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver. The conference features Maria Ott, Darline Robles and Carmello Franco, the authors of “A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in Schools – Leadership for Equity.” See the conference flyer and visit the CO-ALAS website.

CU-Boulder administrators, who last year closed the university’s journalism school, now have been given a proposal to create a College of Media, Design and the Arts and a companion interdisciplinary institute. The decision to close the journalism school included a commitment to explore new ways to teach communications and related disciplines. The new report from the steering committee that’s been studying the issue is available here.

What’s on tap:

The University of Colorado Board of Regents opens two days of meetings in the Tivoli Student Center on the Auraria Higher Education Center in downtown Denver. Tuition rates for 2012-13 are to be discussed on Thursday. Agenda

Gov. John Hickenlooper, accompanied by a pack of legislators and Metro State brass, will sign Senate Bill 12-148 during a 2:45 p.m. ceremony at the new Student Success Building on the Auraria campus. The bill changes the college’s name to Metropolitan State University of Denver. The governor also will sign Senate Bill 12-045, which makes it possible for students to combine community college and four-year credits to quality for associate’s degrees.

The St. Vrain Valley board meets at 6 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 395 South Pratt Parkway in Longmont.

Goods reads from elsewhere:

New schools in NYC: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and schools chancellor Dennis Walcott announced the opening of 54 new schools this fall, 30 district-run and 24 charters, at a Tuesday news conference. GothamSchools.org has the story.

R2T dollars spent slowly: Halfway through the four-year Race to the Top program, the 11 winning states and the District of Columbia have spent just 14 percent of the total $4 billion awarded, according to a story by our partners at EdWeek.

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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