These posts are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of A+ Colorado.

A Search Our Kids Can Be Proud Of

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association and A+ Colorado join together to support respectful and open processes for choosing the next Denver Superintendent

This week, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education began its discussion around how the Board chooses the next superintendent. The opportunity to select a new superintendent should be a moment in our community to bring us together and create a dialogue for what is possible. We all must consider what it will take to ensure the success of every child in Denver. Early in the conversation, the Board identified the values of such a process: Students First, Inclusivity, Stewardship, All Voices, Deep Listening. These values should be embedded in our discourse in this critical time. The Board has an enormous responsibility over the next two and half months, a very quick timetable to: engage stakeholders, recruit talented applicants, vet these applicants, name finalists, and eventually select the person to lead our school system.

Our organizations have sometimes represented different sides of policy and practice regarding education in our city. Sometimes we have agreed and worked together. In this moment, we come together again to call for responsible discourse in this incredibly important moment in our community. In an age of hot-take vitriol, social media bullying, and fake news we must do better here in Denver. This does not mean that it won’t get passionate or we won’t disagree on key issues. We will not seek false agreement for the sake of getting along. What it does mean is that we must all be committed to the open, free, and fair exchange of ideas. We must be committed to the core values that the Denver Board proposed along with a process that would make our kids proud.

We ask that all organizations and individuals commit to a responsible public dialogue. We believe that we have a collective responsibility to steward our community and school system. We believe that we benefit when all voices are included and when we deeply listen to each other. We can put students first by modeling a conversation for the future of our kids that we can be proud of: a search for an amazing leader that can bring our community together, not tear it apart.

Henry Roman, DCTA President

Van Schoales, CEO A+ Colorado