Stand Calls on DPS to Engage Community On SPF

Access to High-Quality Schools | 05/05/2020

Kate Dando Doran
Director of Communications

Denver, CO - Stand for Children Colorado (Stand) issued a statement in response to recommendations issued by the Denver Public Schools (DPS)  Quality Schools Task Force charged with “re imagining” the School Performance Framework (SPF). Stand is calling on the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education to engage the community prior voting on recommendations from the Task Force.

“In order to actually understand the viewpoints of families across the district, DPS needs to engage the community in a real way prior to making such a huge decision about the essential tool that helps families understand how schools are serving our children.  The Task Force admitted that members were not united in their recommendations, so now is the time to hear from those who will be impacted most by changes: parents and families. For months we have been calling on DPS and the committee to take time to hear from DPS families and create a local SPF system – made FOR Denver Schools BY Denver citizens.  It feels like this process started moving quickly to make these recommendations while the rest of the community is in crisis,” said Krista Spurgin, Stand Executive Director.

Last week the DPS School Board heard public comment from 7 parents asking them to pause the Task Force’s work. The week before, in partnership with 11 parents and students and 11 organizations Stand, sent a letter also calling for a pause to the work.  Parents also sent video messages to the Board. Quotes from those videos are below.

"I am asking that we put a hold on determining the future of the SPF at this point because I don’t think any of us know for sure what the next academic year is even going to look like. And right now I think that the priority is keeping everyone safe and healthy and engaged in learning,” said Leilani Siens, Stand parent leader. You can read blog posts by Leilani herehere and here.  

“I believe we need to pause the committee from taking further action during this crisis so we can help give families an students the time they deserve to process the difficulties they are facing before we go ahead and introduce more changes to the systems they are currently adjusting to.” Itchel Cardenas, student organizer with Our Turn.

“While CO’s COVID-19 mantra is ‘we are in this together.’ Please, don’t divide us by moving forward without us. I am a parent of a minority student whose future desperately depends on me holding you and this committee accountable.” Tina Carroll, Stand parent leader.

Stand has been following along with the process and engaging with parents about their concerns with the current SPF and what their vision for a new tool would be. Stand hosted 8 community meetings with 52 parents attending since January. We also have been engaging with our community online through emails, blog posts, and surveys to understand more perspectives about what families and educators want and need in the SPF.  

Read the letter and hear directly from parents who have been engaged in this work for months in this video (note parents recorded these videos on their cell phones in their own homes).


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