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ERIC Number: ED535186
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May-22
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
True North: Goals for Denver Public Schools
Donnell-Kay Foundation (NJ1)
Many metrics along K-12 education may serve as indicators of potential success, but they are not goals. Students must leave the public school system at least proficient enough to face the tasks ahead. At the moment when students depart the K-12 system to enter college or career, it matters neither how proficient they were years before, nor the pace at which they have risen. Simply put: exit-level proficiency should be the primary goal of any public school system. The most recent version of The Denver Plan--the primary strategic document for the district--lists five major goals and multiple supporting indicators. However, too few of these goals (and the accompanying metrics) either focus on or prioritize academic achievement. DPS can often meet the objectives in the Denver Plan regardless of a corresponding rise or decline in student academic outcomes. The current goals of the Denver Plan lack rigor, structure, and consistency. In place of these goals, this paper urges a renewed focus on two fundamental principles that are critical to Denver Public Schools: (1) Achievement: students must attain annual academic growth so that they possess a sufficient level of proficiency upon leaving the district; and (2) Access: students must have equal opportunity to attend quality schools regardless of their grade level, demographics, and location. Achievement and access form an axis on which the district can accomplish its central purpose of exit-level proficiency for all students. This paper proposes three simple long-term goals for DPS. In support of those three goals, this paper provides additional context, historical benchmarks, and eight indicators to gauge annual progress. Appended are: (1) An Assessment of the Goals in the Denver Plan; and (2) Largest 35 Colorado Districts and Student Growth Scores, 2011. (Contains 4 footnotes.)
Donnell-Kay Foundation. 730 17th Street Suite 950, Denver, CO 80202. Tel: 720-932-1544; Fax: 303-534-5785; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Donnell-Kay Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Colorado