The Dean's List

The best public high schools along the Front Range. Plus: an in-depth look at how the so-called Colorado Paradox has shortchanged our kids—and how we might finally be able to fix it.

September 2013


Committing To Kids

To get our students to where they should be, we not only need more money—we need to spend it more wisely.

Traveling around the state, the stories I’ve heard are plentiful and painful. A parent told me class sizes are up to an average of 36 students in Pueblo, some school districts have eliminated art and music, and 83 other districts cut costs by sending students to school four days a week. And yet, Colorado is creating some of the most ambitious education reforms in the country. We’ve developed more rigorous evaluations for our teachers and principals, set new standards for our students, and established accountability criteria for all our schools and districts.

That’s why an unprecedented coalition of businesspeople, educators, and political leaders are united in their support for a once-in-a-generation shot at dramatically improving Colorado schools and ensuring that every child has a chance to graduate ready for college and a career. (For more information, visit coloradocommitstokids.com.)

We must fundamentally change how we spend money in Colorado. Investments in high-quality early childhood education and full-day kindergarten, and in extended school days and school years, will make our teachers more effective and provide more individualized instruction.
But Coloradans want to know these dollars will make it directly to classrooms and will provide the results we seek. Initiative 22, (the ballot measure for SB213) which will be up for appro-val this November, will make Colorado the first state to do just that. For the first time, it also will give principals, teachers, and parents more control over how the budgets at their schools are allocated.
Colorado’s natural resources already are the envy of the nation, but our most important natural resources are our children. This November, we can choose to make Colorado not only a national leader on school reform, but also a national leader in school results.