Last week, the Denver Public Schools board held a Public Comment session where they announced that they would be extending the timeline for the Superintendent hiring process. The move was met with great relief from many community members and organizations who feared that the process was moving too quickly to guarantee quality candidates and authentic, robust community engagement. The board will now name finalists on November 26th and make a decision by December 15th.
Stand leaders showed up again to raise their voices and the expectations that parents and teachers have for the new district leader.
Jeannie Nelson, a parent of four children at Schmitt Elementary, shared highlights from the almost 100 responses to Stand’s Superintendent Search Survey. She pointed out that the top line priorities for the next superintendent are “equitable school funding, support for teachers and leaders, and closing the achievement gap.”
Jeannie also spoke about the frustratingly slow progress that DPS has been making towards higher academic achievement. “When I think about the future I want for my children, it isn’t a different path than the one DPS has been on, it’s just that we need to get there faster. We’ve made progress and we need to have an even greater sense of urgency to get to the goals outlined in the Denver 2020 Plan.”
Carolina Shialer, a DPS teacher, reminded the board members about the importance of distinguishing equity from equality. “-when I talk about equitable funding, I mean that we need to realize the distinctive needs of every school/area and provide the resources that they need to be as successful as their counterparts in the most affluence areas. Equitable does not mean to provide the same for all, it means to provide what is needed.”
Carolina closed her time by expressing her hope that the next superintendent would listen to the needs of the DPS community. “We should elect someone who will work with the community and be open to input and change, … who has experience working in different settings with diverse populations.”
What do YOU think the priorities should be in the search for the next DPS Superintendent? RSVP to attend a community discussion hosted by Stand and DPS board members on September 27th to share your thoughts. You can also still take our survey.