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Press Release: The Denver Plan and the Board of Education

News Release

Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 6pm

Media Contact:

Van Schoales, CEO, A+ Denver (303) 725-1151

The Denver Plan and the Board of Education: Time to reevaluate the strategic plan to reflect current priorities and accountability measures.

A+ Denver has submitted a letter to the DPS Board of Education addressing our concerns with the current version of The Denver Plan. In the letter we have outlined a number of recommendations that we believe will help transform the Plan into a true strategic document that can be used to measure the success of specific initiatives.

As with any large organization, we believe the strategic plan is a vital document to guide decision-making and measure progress. This is especially important if the district decides to seek future tax-payer support.

Our hope is that the Board will consider our recommendations and improve the Denver Plan so that it can truly become a tool used to drive decision-making and hold the district accountable for results.

Some of the recommendations made to the Board of Education:

  • Improve goals and accountability measures based on real measurement tools and realistic benchmarks for each goal. Then, prioritize each goal to reflect district initiatives and allow the public to understand the strategy for achievement.
  • Update the areas outlined in the plan to reflect current district priorities identified in the 2011 State of the Schools address made to A+ Denver members. Those four areas were: Teacher Effectiveness, English Language Learners, New Standards/Use of Data in Assessments, and Turnaround schools; however, only the first two areas are described in detail in the current Denver Plan.
  • Employ true performance empowerment and identify where decisions making rests for each goal and how this will drive student achievement.
  • Expand academic focus to include subjects beyond math and literacy. Include measurements and benchmarks to identify improvement.
  • Add goals for school leadership around recruitment, training, and support to reflect current initiatives already underway in these areas in the district.

The mission of A+ Denver is to harness the power of Denver’s civic leadership to build

public will and advocate for the changes necessary to dramatically increase student achievement in public education in Denver. We are an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization working to bring the power of Denver’s citizens to the effort of school reform. For more information, please visit