08/22/23 Blog: Test Scores in Colorado Are Recovering, But To What?

TEST SCORES ARE RECOVERING, BUT THINGS ARE NOT ROSY IN SCHOOLS The latest round of CMAS testing has some news about kids recovering from pandemic learning losses, but things are still not good for many, many students. I've got Chalkbeat reporter Melanie Asmar to discuss her recent story, “Colorado 2023 CMAS results show slow academic recovery, red flag for some students.” She joins me at 1:30 to discuss.

IS THE PROSECUTORS CASE AGAINST TWO AURORA COPS AS STRONG AS IT SHOULD BE? I still believe what happened to Elijah McClain was an entirely avoidable tragedy but I don't believe it was an intentional death in any way. Now the prosecutors have dropped two sentence enhancing crimes that would have lead to mandatory minimum sentences should the two officers be convicted. Why did they drop them? From the Denver Gazette:

Prosecutors opted to dismiss the sentence enhancement counts against Roedema and Rosenblatt after District Court Judge Mark Warner granted defense attorneys' request for a document known as a "bill of particulars," Warner wrote in a dismissal order last week. In the filing, the prosecutors would have laid out their theory of how the case's facts support the sentence enhancement counts. "There was some lack of clarity concerning how the specific acts of these defendants would have caused death," Warner wrote. He said the officers' defense attorneys objected to dismissing the counts, claiming the move was a "veiled attempt to end-run the court’s bill of particulars order." 

So it seems to me that the defense was trying to get the prosecution to lay out how the actions of the officers could have lead to the victim's death and the prosecution balked and simply removed the charges rather than provide it. I may be wrong here, but that seems like a pretty big win for the defense. We'll see how this all plays out.

THE AFFORDABLE ARTS FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND! And there have been some changes to how the festival works so Jim DeLutes is on today at 2:30 to talk about the changes. I LOVE this festival and if you are looking for art you want to go. Find out all the details by clicking here!

THE COLORADO SUPREMES PUNT ON PROP HH I am a bit confused by this ruling. The Colorado Supreme Court said they can't rule on whether or not Proposition HH violates the single subject rule until AFTER it passes. What? I'm confused because Prop HH sprang forth from Senate Bill 303, which is already law and has provisions in it that are already being enforced. As PART of 303 the Legislature sent Prop HH to the people, which in an of itself should indicate that the single subject rule was violated, right? What am I missing here? I am going to talk to one of the plaintiffs in the case Jerry Sonnenberg to see what he thinks at 2pm.

73% OF REPUBLICANS SAY TRUMP SHOULD DEBATE At least according to this poll, which is inconvenient as Trump has now said he will skip ALL the debates. Will he be pulled back in? I doubt it unless he starts to slip in the polls which shows no signs of happening so far. But is he leading as much as he thinks he is? Maybe not in Iowa according to a longtime Iowa pollster who says DeSantis is a lot closer than the other polls show, at least in Iowa.

TRUMP ISN'T PAYING THE LEGAL BILLS FOR HIS CO-CONSPIRATORS This is a BAD move by him if you ask me. Jenna Ellis has been vocal on Former Twitter about Trump not paying her bills, and it was reported that Rudi Giuliani went to MarALago and begged Trump to pay his only to be rebuffed. Why would these people continue to carry the water for Trump when he clearly has no loyalty to anyone? This is why Trump's harping about loyalty when it comes to DeSantis doesn't play with me. He has no loyalty to the people who destroyed their careers and credibility for him.

HE WILL BE SURRENDERING IN GEORGIA ON THURSDAY And we may get the first mug shot of a former President in history. He will be in and out, with his team already agreeing to pay $200,000 in bail, though whether or not he gets a mug shot is being negotiated. We'll see.

MASK MANDATES ARE COMING BACK TO SOME LEFTIE PLACES And I'm going to be getting my mask exemption updated from my doctor asap. I will not play this stupidity again, and luckily I don't work at Lionsgate Studios where mask mandates in the office are back. Yes, there is a new covid variant working it's way around, but if you read down into the stories about it, you will see the following:

Jha says scientists should pay close attention to the variant. But he thinks the chances are “exceedingly low” that it will turn out to be any more severe than existing variants or cause the level of disruption seen with the first Omicron waves, owing to widespread immunity.

This is what viruses do and you should not freak out about it unless you are elderly and infirm already.

ALEC BALDWIN MAY NOT BE OUT OF THE WOODS YET As he is trying to get some of the civil cases around the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dismissed before a special prosecutor decides whether or not to charge Baldwin with her death after all. There are some questions about the evidence in the case as the FBI apparently destroyed the gun while testing it and had to recreate it to test Baldwin's claim that he didn't pull the trigger. Read about it here.

HAVE WE SEEN THE END OF THE MCMANSION? I'm sure there are always going to be well-to-do folks who want enormous homes with rooms they never use but for most people that's just not happening. As the mortgage rates go up, supply is down and demand is up, builders are actually shrinking the size of the homes they are building for the new home market. Goodbye formal dining room, hello expanded family room/kitchen combos. Read more here if you subscribe to the Wall Street Journal.

AI IS AS GOOD AS A RADIOLOGIST IN DETECTING BREAST CANCER And this study specifically pertained to having AI analyze mammograms to search for cancer. The AI had the same error rate as having two radiologists examine the mammograms, but they were able to do so much more quickly. This is really cool, read it here.

DEEP FAKE IS TAKING PEOPLE'S MONEY WITH HIGH TECH SCAMS This is why AI scares me. The amount of money being scammed from elderly people is growing exponentially with the rise of deep fake that can copy someone's voice or even their face to scam friends and family out of huge sums of money. The frauds are getting more complex, with scammers creating software to get around biometric fingerprint scans and more. You need to keep an eye on your accounts and lock your credit people. Read the scary details here.

CONSERVATIVES ARE VERBAL NINJAS This article is HILARIOUS. Just absolutely hysterical. The writer in CNN says that conservatives are winning the battle of "verbal jiu-jitsu" to change the meaning of words liberals like to coin about themselves. From this column:

Republicans are masters of verbal jiu-jitsu. It’s a form of linguistic combat in which the practitioner takes a political phrase or concept popularized by their opponent and gradually turns into an unusable slur. Like the Japanese martial art known as jiu-jitsu, its devotees avoid taking opposing arguments head on and instead redirect their opponents’ momentum to beat them.
If this sounds abstract, consider the evolution of “ woke.” The word is defined as being “actively aware of social injustice.” But it has been transformed into a contemporary scourge, one that a politician compared to a “virus more dangerous than any pandemic, hands down.”
Mention almost any touchstone phrase adopted by the left in recent years — “critical race theory,” “diversity,” “global warming,” even the word “liberal” itself — and it has been redefined or tarnished by conservatives.

It gets even better, read this:

“Social justice warrior,” for example, didn’t start off as an insult. What’s wrong with someone fighting on behalf of the poor and exploited? Then the term was turned by conservatives and internet culture into something else: a “whiny,” self-righteous progressive who can’t take a joke.

It never once occurs to this author that conservatives simply AMPLIFY what the words mean and people then understand it in such a way that it becomes unflattering because of WHAT IT IS. A Social Justice Warrior is EXACTLY what they describe here, and sites like Libs of TikTok merely amplified the behavior of SJWs themselves to prove that. I enjoyed this column far too much this morning. Far too much.


BIDEN MAKES FIRE IN MAUI ABOUT HIM Why does he do this? He almost lost a Corvette...so relatable.

MICKEY MANTLE IS STILL SMASHING RECORDS His home jersey from one season just sold for $4.68 million at auction making it by far the most expensive jersey ever sold. Read about the rest of the cool stuff sold at this auction here.

THIS STILL MAY BE THE COOLEST BAT EVER Check this out. Well done, Victus.

GEN Z IS COMING FOR LOL With a much longer stupid phrase that is a lot harder to say. Ah, kids... Watch below or click here

WHO KNEW FLIES WERE BROWN BLIND? Watch below or click here.

AND NOW, THE HUSBAND CALLING CONTEST AT THE STATE FAIR This is absurd and funny but also super annoying. Watch below or click here.

EAGLES ARE JERKS Who will steal food from each other. But not this time.

THIS IS MARITAL CHAOS This woman says she and her spouse don't have a regular side of the bed. WHAT KIND OF NONSENSE IS THIS??? This dude gets it though. Watch below or click here.

ABOUT THAT DISINFECTANT YOU USE I sure hope we all learned this during Covid but in case you didn't, watch below or click here.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR GARAGE DOOR And I did not know this but I'm buying some stuff today. Watch below or click here.

NEVER HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON Mel Robbins explains the neuroscience of it all.

YOU'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO FILE FOR YOUR PIECE OF THE FACEBOOK SETTLEMENT Here's how to apply for your chunk of the change, which I'm guessing will be very, very small.

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