Progress and Inequity in Colorado

  • Tina is an editor, reporter and coach with the Colorado News Collaborative. She has been a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the Albuquerque Tribune, but spent most of her career as a reporter and columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. Her reporting on immigration, education and urban poverty has won national recognition. Tina lives in Fort Collins with her husband and two kids. She's a native New Mexican and prefers red over green.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

We’re out with our latest installment of Chasing Progress, our collaborative reporting project examining equity gaps in Colorado. 

Yesterday’s piece is by John Herrick of the nonprofit The Boulder Reporting Lab (Johnny’s name may be familiar to you all who followed us from the Colorado Independent.) Johnny dug through the data and did a ton of interviews to examine a longstanding issue in the Boulder Valley School District: Disproportionate discipline of Black and Latino students.

From the story:

“…When analyzing all the punitive measures reported to the state — removal from the classroom, in- and out-of-school suspensions, referrals to police — BVSD’s Black students were 2.5 times more likely to be punished than their white peers. Latino students were two times more likely to be punished.”

Same misbehavior as white students. Different rates of punishment. It’s a common problem among school districts and one with long-lasting repercussions. I encourage you to read Johnny’s piece to learn what the district and its parent community are doing in response. 

We have more Chasing Progress stories in the works. Chalkbeat’s Jason Gonzales is delving into the troubling and persistent higher education gaps and the Denver Post’s Saja Hindi along with Burt Hubbard and I are trying to figure out what contributed to the dramatic fall in poverty rates over the last decade and whether that headway can withstand the headwinds of today. 

In my last Chasing Progress newsletter, I asked for your ideas, experiences, observations. All are still welcome. Just send an email to

We’ve rounded up all the stories in the series so far. Please take a moment to look at the names of the reporters and newsrooms represented. Their work — our work collaboratively — has been shared with our 170-plus partner newsrooms so that they can freely republish. Each story is also available in Spanish. You can hear more about the project in my conversation with Chandra Thomas Whitfield, a new host at CPR’s Colorado Matters.

No single newsroom in these tight-budget, staff-starved days could devote enough time and resources to a project of Chasing Progress’ breadth and depth. But together, and with the added brainpower and experience of community members, we can. We each take one piece of the greater whole. We learn together. We push one another. This is the promise of collaboration. It is the joy of collaboration. Thank you for making it possible with your support

This post was sent as a letter to our email subscribers on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Join our email list to learn more about COLab and the work we are doing.