Coverage of education issues both in Colorado & Nationally from KUNC, NPR & our education news partners.

Grace Hood / KUNC

Although slightly more Colorado teens completed high school in 2016, the most recent report from the Colorado Department of Education says there’s still work to do to catch up to national trends.

2016 graduation and dropout data, released in January, marked a small uptick in the number of students finishing high school in four years — up to 78 percent, compared to 77 percent in 2015. This marks the highest it’s been since the highest it’s been since 2010, one year after the office of dropout prevention was created within CDE. Nationally, graduation rates were at 83 percent in 2015. 2016 numbers are expected to be available later this year.

The U.S. Department of Education has withdrawn a proposal that could have fundamentally changed the flow of federal dollars to schools that serve low-income students.

Grace Hood / KUNC

Colorado’s 2017 legislative session has barely begun and lawmakers are already proposing diverse solutions for funding the state’s public schools. Most plans involve a new tax or a tax increase, meaning voters will likely get the chance to weigh in down the road.

Colorado chronically lags behind most of the nation in per-pupil funding, and also falls below the funding levels required in the School Finance Act. This year, an $876 million shortfall is expected according to projections from the governor's office, up from $830 million last year. This marks the 7th year in a row where the state's schools are funded at recession levels.

After Betsy DeVos' Senate confirmation hearing yesterday — all three hours and change — we know a little more about Donald Trump's pick to be the next education secretary.

Appearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, DeVos faced questions on a range of issues, from private school vouchers and charter school oversight to guns in schools.

The education philosophy of Betsy DeVos boils down to one word: choice. The billionaire has used her money to support the expansion of public charter schools and private school vouchers.

For more than three hours on Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Education Department handled tough questions on school choice, charters and the future of the nation's schools from the Senate committee that handles education.

In her opening remarks, DeVos made clear she doesn't think traditional public schools are a good fit for every child.

There hasn't been a more controversial pick for secretary of education, arguably, in recent memory than Donald Trump's choice of Betsy DeVos. The Senate confirmation hearings for the billionaire Republican fundraiser and activist from Michigan start today.

Sixty-three years after the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, many schools across the country either remain segregated or have re-segregated.

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that when it comes to school segregation, separate is never truly equal.

This time last year, Stephanie Johnson was miserable.

She was in her third year teaching special education at a junior high school in Lindon, Utah, about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City.

On the outside it looked like she was doing great. Her classes ran smoothly, students loved her, parents loved her, but like many special education teachers, inside she felt as though she was drowning.

She said she thought about leaving all the time: "I don't know how to describe it, it's just so much work. I just feel like I cannot do it."

Small classes. High standards. More money. These popular remedies for school ills aren't as effective as they're sometimes thought to be. That's the somewhat controversial conclusion of education researcher John Hattie.

Over his career, Hattie has scrutinized more than 1,000 "meta-analyses," looking at all types of interventions to improve learning. The studies he's examined cover a combined 250 million students around the world.