Education

Leaders and Disruption

Two seemingly unrelated opinion pieces crossed my electronic transom this morning that are in fact closely tied together.

The first is from MarketInsider.com and is titled The big lesson from Amazon and Whole Foods: Disruptive competition comes out of nowhere. The key point of the story is that all industries and companies are subject to rapid and unexpected disruption to their basic business models. As noted in the title, the most recent example of that is Amazon buying Whole Foods and in th...

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Higher Education and Economic Vitality

Not a surprise to anyone doing business in the Fort Collins area, but higher education is important to the area’s economy. This is true in several ways: education and training generally make people more economically valuable and productive; collaboration between employers and education institutions drives innovation; and, of course, higher education institutions inject a lot of disposable income into the local economy.

In that light, here’s a post from Brookings Institution about the valu...

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Successful Moving Fort Collins Forward! Campaign Buys Impact and Quality

As you know from the update in today’s Chamber SmartBrief e-Weekly, the Chamber’s annual Moving Fort Collins Forward! campaign is over and was very successful. When the residual pledges and numbers finish coming in, campaign volunteers will have raised over $700,000 and recruited 100 new members in just 11 weeks. Very impressive!

But while we measure progress with numbers, what do they really mean?

First of all, as I’ve said in this space before, we don’t raise money for the sake o...

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May’s Summer Reading List

Summer time! Sunshine, long days, cookouts, family, hikes, travel and...summer reading! People who casually know me are sometimes surprised to learn that I can actually read, but it's true! Here's what I'm reading this summer.The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in Peace and War by H.W. Brands. This is a holdover from last summer's list that I didn't get to. Grant was revered in the North and despised in the South but was one of his generation's most capable leaders th...

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Poudre School District Stacks Up Favorably

Everybody agrees that education is important. Few people agree, however, on how to measure the effectiveness of public education. ACT and SAT test results are one measure. Standardized state tests like the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) might be another.

Some people prefer to focus on inputs like per student spending or low student-teacher ratios.

Without agreed upon standards for measuring performance, it's difficult know how you're doing and to take corrective action to get b...

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Homework for School Board Candidates

As I've mentioned in a previous post, the cost of government, especially due to the unionization of government employees, is one of the hottest issues of the day. Not surprisingly, it has become a partisan political issue. However, as the public looks at the costs, more and more pressure will be put on elected officials to deal with pay and benefits that exceed those in the private sector and are difficult for taxpayers to sustain. The era of accountability in government is upon us.

In that v...

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Wanted: School Board Candidates

Public employee unions are a hot issue around the country. As local and state governments and school districts struggle to balance their budgets and meet basic needs of their residents, the costs of wages and benefits for unionized public employees are raised more frequently. It might even be an issue in Fort Collins this fall during School Board elections.

Unionization of government workers has been a huge focus of organized labor, to the point that in 2009, for the first time in our nation...

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