This guest blog post comes from Andrea Mérida, a director of the Denver School Board.
Recently, a mayoral delegation from Philadelphia traveled to Denver to visit Denver Public Schools. Given their reaction, you would have thought that they were journeying to an educational Shangri-La.
But in reality, DPS has been a national flashpoint for the battle between corporate-style education reformers and those focusing upon a more child-centric, collaborative approach to improving student achievement.
In Denver, reforms for the past half decade have focused upon strategic changes in the district, including student-based budgeting and a relentless push for more charters. At the same time, traditional neighborhood public schools have received less emphasis and resources, as well as more school closings, cleverly spun as "phase-outs."