My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


State of the State Reaction 

I'm just going to pull a few choice quotes out for your consideration.

Over the past year, we have listened to and involved a wide spectrum of people in some of the most serious policy challenges we face in Colorado. And we involved them because as a state we are blessed with amazingly smart and talented people.

A collaborative decision-making process that reaches for common ground is vital.

Like the process that he went through to arrive at the decision to executive order state workers' unions into being.

In all of my travels across Colorado, I hear anger and frustration from people about cost, quality and access. People with insurance have no confidence they'll have it tomorrow. Employees and employers alike are frustrated at double-digit cost increases year after year after year. And people are frustrated that Washington has failed to craft a national solution. Maybe a new president will change that.

Not having been in the room, I don't know for sure if that last line was delivered in a snide way. It reads pretty snide.

After just a few months of work, the P-20 Council shows us very clearly that Colorado does not lack talent. Rather, we lack an overarching educational vision, a vision that aligns standards from pre-school to college and puts an emphasis on proficiency and learning. . . .

For too long, our education systems and policies have been focused on "seat time" and course titles, assuming that measuring the number of years in a particular class is somehow more important than measuring whether students actually learned anything. . . .

Therefore, I am proposing that we put our education emphasis where it belongs: on helping kids learn, on measuring knowledge and skills, on connecting what is taught in high school with exactly what is expected in college.

Conservatives should feel good, and pat themselves on the back about this line. Fifteen years ago, roughly when I entered teaching, no Democrat would have ever uttered a line such as that. We have managed to move the rhetoric away from "feelings" and "self-esteem" to "proficiency" and "measuring." Not bad for two decades' work.

Other than that, nothing terribly memorable. He studiously avoided talking about his property-tax money-grab, and he steered clear of controversial issues like the Charter School Institute and the unions. Nothing surprising--he's starting to earn a reputation for being made of whipped cream--pleasant and useful, but, ultimately, insubstantial.

For another take on this from someone who has been described as Colorado's Karl Rove, see Dick Wadham's take at his new blog.

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