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Denver Turnaround Initiative Showing Achievement Gains

Originally posted on EdWeek, June 6, 2012. Copyright ©
Written by Jason Tomassini.

One year into an aggressive, expensive school turnaround initiative, some of Denver’s lowest-performing public schools are showing marked academic improvement by providing an education nearly identical to that of the highest-performing charter schools in the country.

All the schools that now make up Denver’s Summit School Network, in an impoverished corner of northeast Denver, are using an approach backed by research from Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer and the university’s Education Innovation Laboratory, or EdLabs. The research identifies five tenets of high-performing charter schools: extended school day and year, strong school leadership, data-driven instruction, increased math tutoring, and a “culture of high expectations.”

Many of the staff members in those schools were reassigned and replaced prior to the 2011-12 school year. Three traditional elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school are now 10 schools, including magnet schools, college-preparatory schools, and a Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, charter school. With the school year recently ending, one other elementary school is already phased out. ..

To read the full article on the Education Week website click here.