Initiative #124 would give school boards and unions a lesson in transparency

By next Monday, all signatures for potential ballot initiatives are due at the Colorado Secretary of State's office. At least 86,105 legitimate signatures are needed to put a citizens initative before the voters on November 4, and several efforts are still collecting signatures. One of those is Initiative 124, which would open school-board meetings to a wider audience.

See also: Henry World Middle School staffers ask Denver Public Schools to oust their vice principal

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Contact isn't allowed in girls' high-school lacrosse -- but concussions are still a concern


Football isn't the only sport worried about head trauma, according to a recent study published by the The American Journal of Sports Medicine and co-authored by Dawn Comstock, an associate professor of epidemiology for the Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education, and Research program at the Colorado School of Public Health. Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing youth sports in America, with over 170,000 active participants. And concerns about lacrosse-related concussion are also growing.

See also: Sex trafficking and sporting events linked? Arrest reports raise doubts

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CU Denver class teaches "nudging" the public toward social goals...and the greater good

Michelle Carpenter
Sille Krukow and student Jaime Flores look at nudge designs during a class session.
Think about the last time you were in an Ikea store. Whether you loved or hated the experience, you probably noticed a difference between the flow at Ikea and at other home-goods store, including arrows and signs attempting to steer you in the direction you needed to go in order to complete your shopping experience. Scandinavia, Ikea's motherland, is famous for designs that are meant to be both attractive and useful. And now the University of Colorado Denver is teaming up with Danish design expert Sille Krukow to create similar social designs in America.

See also: Crafting Yourself: CU Denver students create a creative program for kids

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Adams 12 school board seat declared vacant by judge in ongoing drama over who won election
An image from the Adams 12 Five Star Schools website.
No one won the election.

That's the opinion of the Broomfield District Court judge tasked with sorting out last November's Adams 12 Five Star school board election, in which ineligible candidate Amy Speers earned two-thirds of the vote and eligible candidate Rico Figueroa earned a third. Both were running to represent District 4, but election officials discovered that due to some recent redistricting, Speers no longer lived within the District 4 boundaries. She refused to drop out of the race, however, and ended up earning the most votes. Now, a Broomfield judge has declared the seat vacant.

See also: Scott Gessler's emergency election rule shot down by Colorado Supreme Court

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Henry World Middle School staffers ask Denver Public Schools to oust their vice principal

Categories: Education
Images from a Henry World Middle School promotional video. More photos below.
At last week's Denver Board of Education meeting, seventeen Denver Public Schools staffers spoke in support of a no-confidence vote targeting Henry World Middle School vice principal Yamile Reina-Ayadi, calling her everything from "disorganized' to "degrading," "intimidating," "nonprofessional" and "a bully."

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DU wins Defense Department grant to predict the sociopolitical future

From the Pardee Center
From the Pardee Center
What if it were possible to predict the next Arab Spring? The next Ukrainian revolution? Researchers at the Pardee Center for International Futures in the School of International Studies at the University of Denver might be able to do just that in several years.

DU was one of eleven schools selected this year by the Department of Defense to receive a research grant through the Minerva Initiative. The school's proposal, "Taking Development (Im)Balance Seriously: Using New Approaches to Measure and Model State Fragility," aims to create new ways of examining instability in countries across the world in order to forecast abrupt sociopolitical changes.

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DPS: Judge dismisses teachers' suit over law they say makes it easier to get rid of them

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by seven Denver teachers who claim that the district used a provision of the state's landmark teacher effectiveness law to get rid of them without due process. Denver District Court Judge Michael Martinez found that since the law makes no mention of "tenure," longtime teachers are not "entitled" to a position.

Officials with the Colorado Education Association, whose lawyers are representing the teachers, say they plan to appeal the judge's ruling to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

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Photos: Graduation day for students in Colorado's Youthful Offender System
Photo by Emerald O'Brien
A graduate of the Century High School Class of 2014 after the changing of the tassels on Friday.
Friday's graduation ceremony at Century High School in Pueblo looked like a typical outdoor ceremony, with programs used as fans, students wearing shades, and oldies radio blaring through speakers. But after the ceremony, the thirty graduates didn't get to leave the facility forever. In fact, they didn't even get to leave the campus for the day.

Century High School is a program within Colorado's Youthful Offender System (YOS), a medium security prison housing offenders who committed a violent crime before their 21st birthday.

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Photos: Ten Colorado school districts with the most suspensions, expulsions

Big photos below.
Which Colorado school districts deal with the most discipline issues? The Colorado Department of Education has compiled the data for the 2012-2013 school year (the most recent one available), and the figures are staggering. Several districts in the state handled well over 10,000 incidents during that span, and statewide, there were more than 1,500 expulsions and in excess of 7,000 law-enforcement referrals.

Which districts saw the highest volume? We've put together a photo-illustrated top ten, with figures in nine different categories for each. Count them down below.

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East High and Manual High: Community questions proposal to combine 9th grades

Melanie Asmar
Concerned community members gather outside East High School Tuesday night.
A meeting Tuesday night to discuss a potential partnership between high-achieving East High School and struggling Manual High School looked like this: Lines of parents queued up behind two microphones, firing questions at East principal Andy Mendelsberg, who patiently -- if not a bit nervously -- answered them as best he could. The most common question asked, aside from whether the proposal was already a "done deal," was how a ninth-grade academy housed at Manual but run by East would benefit East High freshmen.

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