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Ann Schimke

Senior reporter — Chalkbeat Colorado.

Life is hard for middle and high schoolers who struggle to read. This Colorado public school aims to help.

Experts say Colorado’s local control landscape means wide variation in the kinds of extra help provided to secondary struggling readers — if there’s any at all


Lisa Roy named sole finalist to lead Colorado’s new early childhood agency

Roy is currently the director of program development at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska


These four states already have universal preschool. What can Colorado learn from them?

Colorado’s universal preschool program will offer 10 hours a week to all 4-year-olds


Colorado lawmakers pledge $100 million for child care

The money would go toward several existing grant programs, including one to help child care providers with operational costs and another to help new providers open and existing providers expand


Colorado needs preschool teachers. Will these incentives work?

The need for new preschool and child care teachers in Colorado is formidable. State officials estimate that more than 2,000 people — 10% of the workforce — left the field during the last two years.


Did this Colorado transparency law make it easier to understand how schools teach reading?

Parents who fought for the curriculum transparency measure say the state’s databases fall short

Politics and Government

Despite pushback, Colorado will enforce K-3 teacher training on reading as planned

About 23,000 early elementary teachers must complete the 45-hour teacher training, either by taking a free online course or completing other state-approved options


Colorado schools brace for staffing shortages as they return from holiday break amid record COVID surge

On Monday, at least three Denver schools — Northfield High School, Lake Middle School and Denver Montessori Junior/Senior High School — had announced temporary shifts to remote learning this week as staff members called in sick


Delayed COVID relief puts some Colorado child care owners in jeopardy

After nearly two years of pandemic-related problems, many child providers continue to face grave financial challenges


Colorado leaders plan to make child care safer. Here’s how.

More than half of Colorado families rely on unlicensed child care — often called family, friend and neighbor care


Colorado cracks down on schools using weak reading curriculum. Advocates worry about backpedaling.

The state education department sent out dozens of letters in late October notifying districts that one or more of their schools use unacceptable reading curriculum


What exactly is Colorado’s new early childhood department? We’ve got answers.

The department will oversee the launch of Colorado’s universal preschool program in 2023 and replace the state’s Office of Early Childhood


Desperate phone calls and long waitlists as Colorado parents struggle to find child care

Groups that help Colorado families find child care say the pandemic has made things harder than ever


How Colorado will boost child care with latest round of federal COVID aid

The money comes as child care businesses work to recover from the turmoil of the pandemic and state leaders


Colorado’s standardized test scores are in. But did your kid even take the test?

One thing is clear: Many students struggled academically last year.


First-graders in the reading red zone: How one Colorado school is tackling pandemic gaps


6 takeaways from a $1.5 million evaluation of Colorado’s reading law

Lawmakers commissioned the multiyear evaluation in 2019 amid growing concern that efforts driven by the READ Act had done little to boost reading scores among Colorado students. They earmarked up to $750,000 a year for the outside review.s


In bid to boost Colorado reading scores, small program shows promise where larger efforts failed

From Englewood to Lamar, other school leaders agree, and many have sought additional grant funding or district dollars to preserve initiatives


Colorado may shift to a more in-depth reading exam for some new teachers

Around 20 states already require teacher candidates to take in-depth exams on reading instruction


Finding out how Colorado schools teach reading can be a wild goose chase. This bill could make it easier.

The transparency legislation comes out of an ongoing push by parents of students with dyslexia and other advocates to shine a light on the black box that is reading instruction at many Colorado schools

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