In the end, supporters of innovation schools and zones did not get everything they wanted out of a new state law offering an added layer of dispute resolution when innovation zone plans are changed or status is revoked, but they’re framing it as a step forward nonetheless.
If Superintendent Alex Marrero and his team intended to calm the storm that has erupted during the past month over the attempt to limit innovation school freedoms, a letter intended to muzzle dissent appears to have backfired. In fact, district employees are becoming more outspoken in their displeasure over a multitude of issues they say are being mishandled by the current administration.
After last week’s 6-1/2-hour Denver school board meeting featured a couple of cringeworthy interpersonal clashes, I’m sure at least some board members are embarrassed by what the public witnessed. They should be. While the in-fighting rages, work of substance is being neglected.
DPS still has an opportunity to keep this process from devolving into a fiasco, but that will require the district to address the impacts on families who will be directly affected by any school closure.
It is evident there is a gap in arts-based learning models in the Far Northeast, and our no-audition, public charter school model will provide every student with an opportunity to explore and develop their talents, in an area where there’s an urgent need for arts-based learning.
Notably missing from the Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee criteria was any measure of school performance. Instead, the Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee chose to focus on schools serving the fewest students.
UPDATED: The Denver school board has decided to postpone its vote on allowing a DSST Rachel Noel High School to open next year. District officials worked this week with board members and DSST leadership to craft a compromise, but were unable to come up with a solution. An agreement satisfactory to all seemed a distant prospect at best.
The 6-1 vote masks significant divisions on the board and, more importantly, indefinitely delays the development of any kind of new accountability system parents can use to figure out which schools would work best for their children.
What if we put aside for a moment labored debates about how to get kids and teachers back into school safely for as many days as possible, whether or not to mandate masks, and how many hours a day of screen-based learning is too much? What if, instead of being paralyzed by fear, we moved forward in hope for a better transformed tomorrow?
A new report from A+ Colorado highlights the importance of transparent, collaborative, and vulnerable conversations about where we are and where we go in education. Now is the time to share all available information across district, professional, and political lines.
If you're like me and following the debate on proposed changes to the way schools are measured in Denver, you too may have concluded the color-coded school report cards - known as the School Performance Framework or SPF - do not necessarily reflect the culture of a school, or how satisfied a learner your child might be - even at a highly rated school. Color me disappointed with the SPF’s efficacy informing parents.