DPS School Board Candidate Survey – October, 2011

Denver’s public education challenges are enormous with roughly half of Denver’s kids not graduating from high school. Of those that do graduate, few are prepared to succeed at the next level; 59% of Denver’s high school graduates require remediation in college. Most of these students will never get a college degree. As education becomes more clearly tied to economic development and a city’s overall future, our community requires an effective public education system where most kids are fully supported to reach their potential and contribute to the growth of Denver.

This past month A+ Denver asked the nine candidates for the Denver Public School Board to respond to a 28-question survey on K-12 education in our city. We also asked them to create their “priority list” on 16 key education issues.

Eight of the nine candidates responded. One answered with a paragraph explaining why he did not complete the survey; others offered a number of additional comments along with their ratings; and in a few cases candidates did not answer all of the questions. We share the results of our survey here.

Our goal has been to help Denver citizens have a clear picture of where each candidate stands on the critical issues of public education for our city and our school district. We hope this enables voters to be more informed as they decide who will be elected to the Denver Public School Board.

We have not graded or rated the candidates. We encourage readers to investigate how best to improve public education in Denver, along with what each candidate for the School Board can do to support effective school improvement policy and practice. On the next page you will see the general trends and findings from the survey and then you will find the actual survey. We want to point out that some candidates chose not to answer every survey question and some did not submit any answers at all, which we found disappointing.

We also recognize that some questions are complex and even have multiple parts which makes it difficult to answer fully in this survey format. We allowed any candidate to submit comments (included after the survey) to further explain their choices. We want to thank the candidates for their time and effort in responding to our questions and participating in all the candidate forums.