Look to Colorado for education-reform advice

Monday, June 3, 2013

The world is changing with no part of it more overdue than public education. Neuroscience assures us of the infinite capabilities of young minds. Technology broadens pathways to learning.

But the most frustrating thing is how long change takes: the glacial pace at which talking shifts to doing.

I met Colorado state Sen. Mike Johnston a few weeks ago. The Denver Democrat was in Seattle to speak at a League of Education Voters breakfast.

Johnston is from a Western, progressive state similar to Washington. After all, both states just voted to legalize marijuana. He represents Northeast Denver, a corner of the city with public-school demographics similar to South Seattle and South King County.

He lays out a template for public schools that will sound familiar to local readers. The difference is Colorado did it. Washington is, so far, only talking, and talking, about doing it.

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