Get More Smarter on Friday (May 15)

“When the wolf is trying to get in, you gotta stand in the doorway.” RIP B.B. King. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example).



► Work on the debacle of a project at the VA Hospital site in Aurora may stall after Congress failed to come to agreement on a plan to fund construction yesterday. Once again, we remind you, that Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is the Chairman of the House Veterans’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Maybe he’ll actually do something about this…some day.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan finished a two-day visit to Colorado on Thursday.

► State Senator Ellen Roberts has been floating her name for U.S. Senate or CD-3. She’s also trying to draw on pro-choice credentials that she no longer possesses.

Get even more smarter after the jump…



► Governor John Hickenlooper is resisting calls to fire Reggie Bicha, the Colorado Director of Human Services. From the Denver Post:

Gov. John Hickenlooper defended his Human Services director Thursday in the face of a no-confidence letter signed by more than 80 lawmakers, saying the Cabinet member has as “tough a job as there is.”

Hickenlooper’s office released a four-page rebuttal to the letter, which called on him to “correct or replace” the highest levels of leadership because of problems in child welfare, youth prisons and programs for people with disabilities and mental illness.

In his response to lawmakers, Hickenlooper made clear he has no plans to replace executive director Reggie Bicha. Instead, he said he intends “to continue with executive director Bicha to innovate and improve” Human Services.

We’ll agree with Hickenlooper on at least one point here: Directing the Department of Human Services is absolutely one hell of a tough job.

► Gov. Hickenlooper was in Fort Collins on Thursday to sign a handful of bills and tout the area’s renewable energy industry; along the way, Hickenlooper also talked about the prospects of expanding I-25. In Western Colorado on Wednesday, Hickenlooper signed SB-282, which provides tax incentives for economic development in rural Colorado.

► The Colorado State Board of Education continues to be very screwy, as the Denver Post explains:

The state Board of Education grudgingly agreed Thursday to let high-school seniors know how they did on state science tests they took last fall but took the unorthodox step of barring education department officials from crunching the data to compare districts and schools.

After putting it off for two months, the board set so-called cut scores on the tests, grouping student results into four categories starting with “distinguished” and bottoming out at “limited command.”

But the board refused to establish those tiers on social studies exams — even though state statute requires it — or release those results.

The majority of board members have grave concerns about the validity of the tests and the impression the results will leave.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who was visiting Colorado this week, said he had never heard of a state failing to establish tiers on these exams. Yay! We’re first…at not doing that?

Veto predatory lender legislation, consumer groups tell Governor John Hickenlooper.

► Taxable income from marijuana sales continues to show strong increases.

► The mother of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock asked that her name be removed from a list of endorsements for a candidate in District 11.

► There was plenty of emotional testimony on Day 13 of the Aurora Theater Shooting Trial.



► All of the Republican members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation voted in favor of a 20-week abortion ban introduced in the House this week.

► Excuse me, sir, but I think that’s my drone in your backyard.

► The Speaker of the House in Missouri is resigning over sexually-charged text messages to a college intern. St. Louis Republican John Diehl made the announcement on Thursday.



► A group of influential Republican Evangelical leaders are trying to decide who to endorse for President in 2016 (other than Hillary Clinton, of course).

► Former Florida Governor and 2016 Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush did not have a very good week. At all. 


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4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    In the case of the ICYMI item about the High Holy get together of all the Christian Corporate leaders, I am more interested in seeing a list of attendees, which of course, isn't in the story. This cabal of uber-right corporate criminals have vast wealth (mostly tax-free) and a ginormous and pervasive message machine through their network of thousands of franchised churches throughout the Midwest and south. Led by the Graham/ Hagee machine, this monster spreads ethnic and social hate throughout its reach, much like ISIS…

    but for the American Constitution, they would delight in forcing us to all think just like them…

    Everyone have a nice day…

  2. RunningOnEmpty says:

    I don't think refusing to set cut scores for the social studies test is crazy. If you look at the way the cut scores were set, only the top 1 to 3 percent of students taking the test would be considered "advanced" — (distinguished command), which certainly flies in the face of the number of students who are taking AP courses and exams and passing at much higher rates. The scores were also set so that the majority of students would be perceived as being below where they should be. It's not criteria-based, which means that we're simply grading students in comparison to other students. That's not useful, and not least because the minute scores are released on a test that dictates the majority of students will be considered below average (limited command and the other bottom tier), people will start shouting about how our students are failing in social studies. Why not instead insist on a test that lays out the essential things students should know, weight the questions according to their importance (for example, questions about checks and balances should count more than questions about the capital of Virginia), and grade the test accordingly? Even better: stop adding more tests to the year. It's accomplishing nothing. I'm truly sorry that students had to waste time taking the test, but I am glad that we're not giving the critics more subjective "facts" that they can use to "prove" that education is failing.

  3. mamajama55 says:

    @running: Agree on not adding fuel to discussion how kids supposedly “failing” social studies and science. Social studies, esp. Is too frocking political…everyone’s got an Axe to grind. We’ve been testing for a solid month now…its ridiculous.

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