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Education News Colorado Gets Stiffed on CSAPs

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Education News Colorado is as legitimate a news source as anyone could imagine. The site is sponsored by a slew of well-respected organizations, including the Daniels Fund and the Piton Foundation, and its staff includes folks such as Alan Gottlieb, who spent sixteen years as a newspaper reporter and editor at publications such as the Denver Post. Yet higher-ups at the Colorado Department of Education seem to view it with trepidation due to its association with that newfangled Internet thing.

According to Gottlieb, corresponding via e-mail, EdNews requested access to embargoed results from the latest round of CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program) tests as soon as they were made available in advance of their official release on Tuesday, July 29. That day came on July 24, but the department's officials declined to provide anything to Gottlieb and company. Why not? "Apparently, because EdNews includes a blog, CDE feels that if we get the data, then any blogger sitting at a computer in his underwear in Mom and Dad's basement would have a right to request it as well," Gottlieb writes.

"Never mind that among me, Todd Engdahl and writers Erika Gonzales, Becky Jones, Barry Bortnick, etc., we have several decades of 'mainstream media' journalism experience," he continues. "And never mind that having a blog attached to a news website is akin to having an editorial and op-ed page in a newspaper."

Other operations don't seem to have a problem understanding the distinction between online news services and folks who spend their day posting YouTube videos of bar fights. "I find it ironic that the DNC took a look at our website and our qualifications and immediately issued a press credential to cover the convention. Yet CDE won't trust us with CSAP data six days before the public gets it," Gottlieb notes. "Just an interesting issue to ponder as the media landscape continues to shift."

Sounds like the Colorado Department of Education has some learning to do. -- Michael Roberts

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