DPS attorney Andrew Ringel goes far beyond Pryor to argue that Kane is interfering with the district’s independent oversight of schools and threatens school safety by usurping the district’s rules for school visitors and volunteers and encouraging others to harass district employees.
The generic-sounding email that landed this fall in KIPP Colorado charter school network Executive Director Tomi Amos’s inbox, presaging a $6 million gift from philanthropist MacKenize Scott, could easily have been passed off as some kind of unwanted solicitation.
The lengthy hearing has gone beyond Pryor’s actions to probe a deeper undercurrent whether DPS has done enough to provide adequate resources and opportunities to Black students in response to longstanding equity concerns by community leaders, parents and educators.
Students, namely Black boys, are significantly more likely to graduate high school and enroll in college if they have a Black man as a teacher in elementary school. Black boys improve standardized test scores when they have Black men as teachers. Simply put, Black boys – and students more broadly – benefit from having Black men in the classroom.
Last week I came across the latest example of at least one Denver’s school board member focusing on the trivial in place of substance, while simultaneously trying to use board power to breathe down the neck of innovation schools.
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.