Thursday, April 7, 2011

Denver is Choice Friendly

Fifty-three percent of Denver Public Schools students don't attend the school they would normally attend based on where they live. In 2004 this number was 34%. What's changed? DPS has instituted "choice friendly" policies designed to increase the number of students who attend a school based on the type of educational program it offers instead of its locality. These policies cover a broad array of issues, including:

  • Offering Innovation schools that operate with waivers from things such as the district's collective bargaining agreement and offer a mission-focused, unique type of school.

  • Marketing to inform parents about quality choice options available to them.

  • Conducting parent and community meetings designed to explain the school district's vision for reform and better equip parents to make decisions for their child's education.

  • Closing schools that are not performing academically.

  • Signing the "Denver Compact," an agreement between the charter schools and the district designed to improve communications and reinforce commitments to each other.

  • Ensuring each of the zones in the district (geographical regions) have a complete array of choice offerings and that certain zones don't have the vast majority of choice options.

  • Opening an Office of School Reform and Innovation (OSRI) with a mission to increase choice options and ensure these options are all top-quality.

  • Commiting to offer all DPS students a quality education.

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