Colorado Edition: Learn To Read | KUNC

Colorado Edition: Learn To Read

Feb 18, 2020

Today on Colorado Edition: we’ll get an early look at Colorado’s presidential primary. Plus, state lawmakers are trying to boost reading scores across the state. We’ll also learn about legislation around Holocaust and genocide studies in Colorado.

Colorado’s Presidential Primary

The first round of ballots for Colorado’s presidential primary were mailed on Monday, Feb. 10. And while some voters are still waiting for theirs to arrive in the mail, counting of early ballots actually started today.  

Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold joined us with data on initial turnout, and answers to some of our questions about the primary.

Reading Scores

Just 40% of Colorado students read at grade level — and that percentage has remained stubbornly low for years. State education officials and Colorado lawmakers are looking at how to move the needle and help school districts boost reading scores. Potential solutions include more teacher training and more transparency about how schools are teaching reading to their students. 

Erica Meltzer, bureau chief of Chalkbeat Colorado, joined us with more.

Holocaust Education

Colorado doesn’t currently have specific, consistent standards for teaching about the Holocaust, or genocide studies, in public schools. A proposed bill in the state legislature seeks to change that.

State Rep. Emily Sirota, a Democrat from Arapahoe and Denver Counties, is planning on introducing legislation in the coming week that would require public schools to include Holocaust and genocide education at age-appropriate levels. She joined us with more.

We also spoke with Fanny Starr, Colorado’s oldest living Holocaust survivor about the proposed legislation.

Nalaxone And Insurance

In 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a national advisory encouraging Americans to carry Nalaxone, a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses. But concerns have recently come to light over how insurers may be using information about a person’s access to the medication. For more, we spoke with Vincent Plymell, assistant commissioner of insurance with the Colorado Division of Insurance.  

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Lamplist” by Darby
  • "Heartland Flyer" by The Balloonist
  • "Black Ballots" by Union Hall

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1), and produced by Lily Tyson. Matt Bloom (@matthew_bloom) guest-hosted this episode. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.