Commentary

“Major” incidents increasing, absence of police in schools is DPS superintendent’s first test

From the beginning of school in late August through the end of September, DPS, (like school systems around the country) has experienced a significant spike in violence and drug violations in and around its schools. The Denver school board last year ordered the removal of 18 Denver Police Department School Resource Officers effective this school year.

Empowering our future by reclaiming our rich history

We, the passionate educators at American Indian Academy of Denver, are on a mission to help our children reclaim the genius of our ancestors....

New opportunities for Denver Public Schools

DPS has the opportunity to emerge from the pandemic stronger and better. But it will require, in my view at least, four important changes by board leadership: An increased focus on academics; ending the dysfunction and infighting that is impeding the ability of the district to plan and support educators in the classroom; listening to teachers; and strengthening a balanced commitment to both student mental health and academic progress and skills acquisition.  

Union-backed candidates are winning the DPS board money race

Latest campaign contribution filings show that the four DCTA-backed candidates have all raised significantly more money than their competitors. And, no surprise: The lion’s share of that money has come from $20,000-plus donations from the DCTA.

Closing opportunity gaps means offering school choice

The anti-charter positions of several board members clash with the idea of equity. There are charter schools in our district that have positive outcomes for our students of color, multilingual learners, students with disabilities, and students experiencing poverty. Why should we restrict student access to these schools? 

To mask or not to mask: A lesson in care and confidence

My two boys have routinely been wearing their masks because 18 months ago, we started talking about how we can care for other people, particularly when we really don’t have any idea of what is going on in their lives, with their bodies, or in their homes.

We need limited testing now more than ever

Apparently, school performance has become another fact-free zone, where ideology, rumor, and innuendo are more important than evidence. The political right in recent years has mastered this sad and dangerous strategy, but when it comes to testing, the left is showing that two can play that game.

Charting a promising future and dispelling disinformation about charter schools

It is frustrating when I see disinformation about charter schools. Some people with their own agendas seek to deny the role charters play as quite often the best option for a lot of us students of color to get a good education.

The controversy over CRT is all smoke and mirrors

Many Americans are embracing falsehoods about what is actually being taught in schools. Scholars also fear that this embrace of misinformation means that terms intended to help students develop as culturally proficient citizens will all be thrown into the bucket of “CRT.”

An open letter to Superintendent Alex Marrero

Dear Dr. Marrero, Welcome to Denver and your first day on the job as superintendent of Denver Public Schools. here are several pieces of unsolicited advice.

A Fulbright in Poland: My journey to change health outcomes in my community

I first started thinking about medicine around the time I was in middle school. My mom was pregnant and the closest clinic to us was 35-40 miles away.

Student voice: The plague of racism in our schools

As a society, it’s our obligation to dismantle these oppressive systems, and our first priority should be to end systemic racism in our schools. We can’t do that without the help of educators.

Removing obstacles so kids can learn: Family Advocacy Support Teams at Rocky Mountain Prep

Our efforts at Rocky Mountain Prep to connect families to resources, and to help our scholars by meeting basic needs in the fastest manner possible gave rise to the Family Advocacy Support Team (FAST).

DSA’s expansion: What is the actual plan?

Nearly all families at DSA welcomed the idea of serving a more diverse student population, and I imagine few people anywhere would oppose this goal on its face. As with most things, however, it is much more complicated than it initially appears.

Excellent school governance is rooted in good character

As a leader in the charter school community, I have observed one additional quality of effective governance: excellent school governance is rooted in good character.

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