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Tuesday Churn: Obama in Boulder

What’s churning:

President Obama visits CU-Boulder today to campaign for Congress to block scheduled interest rate hikes for the popular Stafford student loan program.

Interest rates are scheduled to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, unless Congress intervenes.

Here’s how The Washington Post sets the scene for Obama’s swing through campuses in North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado:

House Republicans have said the estimated $6 billion annual cost of extending low-interest rates for student loans isn’t affordable without offsetting cuts but that they are still deciding whether to support a temporary extension. Obama has started pushing Congress for the extension and planned a three-state tour this week to warn students of the potential financial catastrophe they will face if Congress fails to act.

Meanwhile, The Post reports presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney weighed in on the issue on Monday:

“I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students,” Romney said Monday, a day before five states hold primaries, though he did not offer specifics on how the extension should be paid for or how long it should last. He said he supports the extension because of “extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.”

Romney also spent part of Monday chiding Obama for the lack of jobs for college grads. Read the Los Angeles Times story.

The president speaks at 6:30 p.m. at CU-Boulder’s Coors Events Center. Public tickets became available at noon Monday at the events center box office in Boulder, and the Boulder Daily Camera reported hundreds were waiting in line.

Denver’s Noel Community Arts School has been selected to to participate in a new arts education initiative to help turn around low-performing schools, the White House announced Monday.

The school, among those participating in larger reform effort in Far Northeast Denver, was one of eight schools nationally to be chosen for the two-year program, which will include “intensive” arts education resources and the involvement of President’s Committee artists. In Noel’s case, the artist involved will be actress Alfre Woodard.

Read the full release.

Cherry Creek High School juniors won’t take the state-mandated ACT test today because of a “security breach” involving the ACT and Advanced Placement tests. The district is releasing little information about what happened, citing direction from ACT and the Colorado Department of Education.

Cherry Creek High School juniors will take the test, however – they’re now slated to do so on May 8, which is the previously scheduled statewide test make-up date. All other Cherry Creek high schools will take the test today as scheduled.

According to the district website, after the discovery of the breach, “The district immediately informed the Colorado Department of Education, ACT and the College Board, which administers the Advanced Placement tests. … The district is waiting to hear back from the College Board regarding the administration of the AP tests.”

Three Colorado schoolsDenver Green School, Flagstone Elementary in Castle Rock and Wellington Middle School in the Fort Collins school district – are among 78 nationwide that have been named Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education for their commitment to creating a healthy and environmentally-friendly learning environment.

The winning schools were among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies.

The announcement was made Monday morning in Washington, D.C. The awards are one-year recognition awards. Next year’s competition will open this summer.

What’s on tap today:

The Denver Green School will also be the site today of a noon groundbreaking for its middle school building, a “cottage-concept” building addition – meaning it’s detached from the main school – that will open this fall. The 8,300 square-foot building, the first cottage-concept addition in Denver Public Schools, is one of the final new construction projects under DPS’s 2008 bond program. The ceremony will include Denver City Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman, DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg and DPS school board member Jeannie Kaplan, along with school leaders and students. It’s at 6700 E. Virginia Ave.

What Matters & What Counts in Education holds its monthly breakfast forum with Erin Reilly, managing director for Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism. The topic is, Shall we PLAY? – a reference to one of Reilly’s current projects, PLAY!, a new approach to learning that refers to the value of play as a guiding principle in the educational process both in informal and formal spaces. The theme for this year’s talks is creativity in education: how do we produce students able to think critically, and be thoughtful and creative? Learn more.

The Donnell-Kay Foundation hosts day 2 of its annual blended learning summit, with an emphasis on on professional development, teacher certification and district support of blended learning. Florida Virtual School’s Chief Learning Officer Felicia Ryerson will kick off the day. It runs from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the University of Colorado-Denver and is available live via webinar. Learn more.

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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