We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The New Education Reform Lie: Why Denver Is a Warning Sign, Not a Model, for Urban School Districts

Click here to access article by Jeff Bryant from AlterNet

It seems that many people are benefiting from charter schools in Denver except the students.
Former school board member Jeannie Kaplan also questions the success of such reforms. In an op-ed published last year in the Denver Post, Kaplan spotlighted numerous negative outcomes after many years of portfolio-based reform, including growing achievement gaps between white and non-white students, a school system stubbornly segregated along racial lines, and high staff turnover rates in schools.

Her op-ed pointed to a 2015 analysis from the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education (an organization that advocates the portfolio approach), which looked at the 50 largest urban school districts in the country that have been actively engaged in education reform. Kaplan noted that, "Of them, Denver Public Schools was dead last in both reading and math, with gaps of 38 percent and 30 percent respectively. The average for the other districts was around 14 percent for each subject.

“As for graduation rates, Denver ranked 45th out of the 50 districts."