Students and community supporters Wednesday widened their fight to retain rights to “Know Justice, Know Peace” from their federal court lawsuit against Denver Public Schools to winning in the court of public opinion.
Denver Public Schools has threatened to sue the former principal of a Northeast Denver school along with several students to stop them from promoting the acclaimed “Know Justice, Know Peace” branded racial justice campaign that the students themselves created.
The Colorado State Board of Education Wednesday rejected the Denver Public Schools board’s June denial of a charter school application centered on the needs of Black students and sent the application back to the district for reconsideration.
The impending merger of Rocky Mountain Prep and STRIVE, two of Metro Denver’s most successful charter school networks, is the most consequential change in the city’s charter sector in many years, if not ever. Read what the two people leading the transition have to say about the opportunities and challenges it presents.
In threatening to sue four of its former students and an ex-principal over an alleged trademark violation for a racial justice-themed podcast the students created, DPS is violating its own professed principles and making itself look like a big, bad bully.
Last Friday’s letter to the community from Denver Public Schools Superintendent Marrero was a remarkable exemplar of what has become the norm these days for politicians of all stripes. Undermine data, ignore reality, and create a new narrative.
Alan Gottlieb’s recent commentary in Boardhawk criticizes Denver for asking the DAC to stop summarizing reviews with a decision to accept or deny charter school applications. Denver’s action is reasonable, is part of a larger effort by the district to solicit community input regarding chartering decisions, and aligns with many strong authorizers in the state.
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.
Denver's seven-member board of education has posted on its website a lengthy letter urging parents not to enroll their children in so-called pandemic pods because doing so could "exacerbate academic and opportunity gaps among our children."
Records obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request show that of the 20 Denver elementary schools where parent fundraising brought in the most money, 18 had student populations that were at least two-thirds white. Those schools brought in on average $439,940 per school over the past three years.
The Denver teachers union is pressuring the school board to rush a vote that could gut innovation schools, prompting more than 40 innovation school leaders to urge a focus instead on the needs of children and their families until the COVID-19 crisis passes.
A Denver school board resolution that could have effectively gutted the plans that drive innovation schools has been shelved until later this year, after an outcry from some principals prompted the board sponsor to reopen a dialogue on the issue.
Note: This piece originally appeared in Colorado Politics. After it was published, the Day of Action was postponed because of Coronavirus concerns, and subsequently DPS and other districts shut down as part of Coronavirus mitigation efforts.