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School closure guidelines don’t include performance

A jam-packed agenda at last Thursday Denver school board meeting included a lengthy presentation and discussion about criteria for closing schools as the district’s enrollment continues to shrink.

See this Chalkbeat article for the details.

Notably missing from the criteria was any measure of school performance. Instead, the Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee chose to focus on schools serving the fewest students. As Chalkbeat notes, the committee avoided using the word closure, favoring instead ‘consolidation,’ though the distinction is cloudy at best.

No schools would be closed (or consolidated) until the end of the 2023-24 school year, barring a dramatic plunge in enrollment at a given school.

The school board would have to approve any closures, and appears hesitant to do so, at least employing the committee’s criteria.