This week on Colorado Politicking, legislative reporter Pat Poblete and Denver Gazette reporter Dennis Huspeni discuss the third-party report probing Denver Public School Director Tay Anderson's conduct and school walkouts calling for his resignation. Meanwhile, chief legislative reporter Marianne Goodland focuses on the state Independent Ethics Commission rejecting a request for private security for Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

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Six Colorado schools were recognized Tuesday as National Blue Ribbon Schools for their overall academic performance or success in closing achievement gaps among student groups. 

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Hours after hundreds of Denver Public Schools students walked out to call for his resignation Monday, DPS Board of Education Director Tay Anderson touted his accomplishments in office and unveiled his plans for serving the district in the future.

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More than 200 students at North High school in Denver staged a walkout protest Monday, calling for embattled Denver Public Schools Board of Education Director Tay Anderson to resign after a district investigation didn't substantiate Anderson committing allegations of sexual assault but found…

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Reaction to the censure of Tay Anderson on the political front Friday was stone silence, but parents who have been critical of the embattled Denver Public Schools board member said they were still convinced he's undeterred. 

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There are now more students reading, writing and studying at the University of Colorado Boulder than there were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university announced Wednesday. 

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After removing police officers from its schools over the past year, Denver Public Schools has increased its own armed patrol unit and is in talks with the city about allowing those officers to issue tickets to students for violations like marijuana possession and fighting.

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As cases of COVID in young children rise steeply, Colorado public health officials say it’s important to test all students and staff weekly to help reduce disease transmission. Colorado has allocated $173 million of federal relief money to provide schools with free rapid tests and help in setting up testing programs.

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The lack of school nurses is more severe than usual because of the fierce competition in the job market. “What we’re dealing with now is the shortage of human resources,” said Robin Greene, the director of nursing services for Denver Public Schools. 

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A three-judge panel on Thursday decided the Colorado Attorney General's Office needed to show that the marketing practices of CollegeAmerica — which has campuses in Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins — were not only knowingly false and misleading, but had a substantial public impact, too. Because Denver District Court Judge Ross B.H. Buchanan believed the latter requirement did not apply, there will need to be a new trial to address the issue.

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"The LEAP initiative will make Colorado the first state in the country to offer a statewide approach to helping kids recover from current COVID losses, while also creating a long-term plan to prevent opportunity gaps from developing in the future."

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College athletes have traditionally not been allowed to be compensated for use of their name, image or likeness, despite what the legislative framework describes as the “rapid escalation of the commercialization of intercollegiate sports and the increased opportunities for monetization.”

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The Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance’s first meeting of the year, one of five scheduled before the start of the next legislative session, featured panel presentations from a handful of state agencies, nonprofits working in the educational space and a pair of district superintendents.

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Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes called the findings “sobering data that confirm just how hard last year was with school closures, class quarantines and remote learning,” in publicly releasing statewide results for Colorado Measures of Academic Success and PSAT and SAT exams during Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting.

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“I strongly believe that our education system can, and must, do better to meet the varied needs of all kids,” Dickhoner said in a statement. “I’m honored to lead Ready Colorado in its advocacy of better educational opportunities.”

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Since taking the top job in Colorado’s largest school district on July 6, Alex Marrero has met with district staff, parents, leaders of foundations that support the schools, and grassroots community groups, including those who questioned his candidacy for the job and the process that led to his hiring.

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Earlier this month, the CDC said that vaccinated students and school staff could go maskless, but that school leaders could issue universal masking policies if they saw fit. Children under 12 aren’t yet eligible for vaccines, but the previous guidance left room for high schools with vaccinated staff and students to operate without face coverings.

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Something else came out of the 2012 reading law that produced more promising results: a competitive grant program with three-year awards for schools that agreed to overhaul reading instruction. Unlike the reading money spread across all districts, the smaller Early Literacy Grant program came with strict rules about how schools should improve reading instruction, plus considerable state oversight. 

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A board vote Tuesday requires Superintendent Rico Munn to communicate with the board and consider its input 60 days before asking for a vote on certain issues. The new rule will apply to decisions about the budget, school closures or boundary changes, labor negotiation agreements, contracts that will cost 5% or more of the district budget, and any request to reduce staffing. The board’s selection and evaluation of its superintendent and any changes to the district’s goals are also covered under the new process.