Linda Seebach takes Gadfly to task in her recent Rocky Mountain News column for dumb demographic data and for leaving key questions unanswered. She's right that our generalizations about Middle America--made in last issue's "Heartland blues"--don't hold up very well in Colorado. Its economy is booming, not struggling, and unlike its neighbors to the East it's benefiting from an influx of highly educated workers. So how to explain its status as one of 13 states (most in the nation's mid-section) where poor and minority students haven't made any progress on NAEP over the past decade or so? Seebach doesn't tackle that one, so we will. Perhaps the state's newly arrived Hispanic students are masking gains made by Colorado's long-time Hispanic residents. Or--more likely--its mix of standards-based reform and choice-based reform is not high-enough octane to yield results for its neediest children. Either way, those are among the education issues deserving attention on the state's editorial pages.
"Education ‘report' reveals a tale of two Colorados," by Linda Seebach, Rocky Mountain News, November 25, 2006