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Politics and ProComp

Less than a week before the national spotlight turns on Denver, which is playing host to the Democratic National Convention, school district officials must be praying really hard.

Starting tomorrow, for three days, union and district officials will negotiate proposed changes to ProComp, the city's highly lauded performance-pay plan, which both sides had blessed at its creation. For now, that camaraderie is moot as the district and the union fight bitterly over what to change, and to what extent.

You can read about those proposed changes in this story and in a chat we recently hosted with teachers' union President Kim Ursetta and University of Colorado at Denver's Dean of Public Affairs Paul Teske.

Here's why the district would want to really, really settle this before the convention begins: as my colleague Michele McNeil writes on her blog, convention delegates are all set to embrace performance pay at the convention as part of their party's platform.

But touting teacher pay even as the nation's model plan falls to pieces right under their noses is not exactly going to look ... ahem ... reaffirming. And it's going to be more than a little embarrassing for the district itself, especially if the union carries out its threat of a strike.

This one's going to be a nail-biter. Stay tuned as we bring you more.

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