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University Prep’s David Singer wins national honor

In the same week he won a key procedural victory over the Adams 14 School District, University Prep CEO David Singer was recognized with a 2023 “Changemaker Award” from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

The award acknowledges leaders who are making a meaningful, positive difference in their communities. Singer was one of only seven recipients from across the country, and the only one from Colorado.

Singer started his teaching career 20 ago as a high school math teacher but became passionate about teaching younger students. In 2011, he founded University Prep in Denver with 100 kindergarten and first graders. The school has since grown into a network of two public charter schools that is serving nearly 700 children.

“David’s commitment to students and education has shaped the lives of thousands of Denver children for the better,” said Dan Schaller, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools. “He represents the best of our education system, someone who is passionate and fiercely driven to create opportunities for kids who might otherwise lack access to the same quality of education as their peers. His relentlessness in creating a high-performing school network from scratch is as admirable as it is impressive.”

CMAS test scores show that, on average, students at both of University Prep’s schools outperform DPS schools, schools in their local communities, and schools statewide. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranks University Prep’s Arapahoe Street school in the top 25 percent of elementary schools in Colorado, and Steele Street school in the top 30 percent.

Last week, the Colorado State Board of Education stripped the Adams 14 school district of its exclusive authority to authorize charter schools within its boundaries, after the local board repeatedly stymied UPrep from opening an elementary school there. The school board approved a UPrep charter school in December of 2021, only to vote down a contract 10 months later.