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Briefs: Piton leadership shake-up

The top two employees of the Denver-based Piton Foundation, one of the largest education funders in Colorado, have left “to pursue other interests,” according to an email from Piton founder Sam Gary.

President Terry Minger and Chief of Staff Meredith Miller took the helm of Piton in February 2010, after long-time Piton President Mary Gittings Cronin retired.

“Both(Minger and Miller) were critical to the conception and development of the Children’s Corridor, as well as many other elements of the broader social agenda to create a better future for Denver’s low-income families and children,” Gary wrote in his email. “They have been fellow travelers and advocates and they have my lasting friendship, gratitude and respect.”

Dave Younggren, co-chair of the Piton board, will serve as interim president, Gary said.

Piton is a funder of EdNews.

DPS employee under investigation

A mid-level manager in the technology department in Denver Public Schools is on paid leave while an internal investigation is underway, according to local news reports and Denver Public Schools.

District spokesman Mike Vaughn confirmed that a DPS employee in the department of Network and System Administration is under investigation for accepting perks, such as travel for himself and his family, from companies in exchange for his influence in accepting contracts. The employee has been with the district for 22 years, according to CBS4. EdNews Colorado is not releasing his name since he has not been formally charged and the internal investigation is not complete.

“These are serious allegations, and we are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation. While that is taking place, the employee is on administrative leave,” a district statement reads.

Colorado in top 10 for Advanced Placement scores

Colorado ranks ninth in the nation for the percentage of students scoring a three or higher on Advanced Placement exams, according to the state Department of Education.

The CDE culled that stat from the ninth annual AP Report by the College Board, which runs the AP program.

AP exams are scored on a five-point scale. Students with a three or higher often can use that AP class to earn college credit.

Other Colorado highlights include:

The number of Colorado high schools student who took an AP exam grew from 17,303 in 2011 to 18,358 in 2012.

59.8 percent of state 2012 Colorado test takers received a score of three or higher. That number increased from 10,692 in 2011 to 11,442 in 2012.

Colorado made some progress in closing participation and achievement gaps. Hispanic students made up 22.5 percent of the class of 2012, and 11.6 percent of those students scored a three or higher on an AP exam.

Five Colorado districts were cited for having three years of increasing both exam participation and performance, especially among under-represented student populations. The districts are Boulder Valley, Lewis-Palmer, Estes Park, Poudre and Weld RE-4.

Nationally the report found that AP participation and scores were up, but that significant ethnic gaps remain. Find the report here.

Dougco students featured in video

Two students from Rocky Heights Middle School in the Douglas County School District lent their voices to a new animated rap video about “hands-only” CPR.

The video, a project of the American Heart Association and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, was shown for the first time on Feb. 13 at an assembly at Rocky Heights Middle School in Highlands Ranch. The video demonstrates what to do if someone collapses due to heart problems. Hands-only CPR involves doing chest compressions without breathing into the victim’s mouth.

To view the video, go to–N7Y.

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