My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Bold Educational Reforms In Denver . . . 

. . . maybe.

A proposal to close eight Denver Public Schools and remake five others - while expanding preschool seats and creating a pathway for innovative new schools - won some initial nods of approval Monday. . . .

But to sell the closures at a time when DPS is trying to draw some families back to the district, Bennet had to offer something in return. And he did, from more preschool seats to programs some communities had been clamoring for, such as a second middle school-high school for the arts.

This is interesting. The closures are fairly simple budget-think, and I think it really is a logical approach to obvious problems (leave it to a businessman like Michael Bennett to actually try to solve problems). But the other things, while nobody knows yet if they will work, are at least an attempt at reform.

But, I'm afraid, none of these reforms seem to address any of the twelve questions I posed a couple months ago. And, perhaps, they are not supposed to. I don't believe that any of these reforms are aimed at preparing Denver students for college.

And that's fine. I've written before that college has become too much an expectation of American education, and not enough of a pathway. Some students really need to go to college to learn the skills and background to prepare them for a career; others would be much better served by learning some skills in a setting other than college (trade school, etc . . ) to prepare them for life.

So, Denver, if we're not reforming in the interest of college prep, why aren't we doing a better job of reforming in the interest of life prep?

But I must concede that Denver is, at least, making steps to shake up the traditional metropolitan school district model which has so poorly served this country for the last fifty years. And I must commend them for that.

So over the next few days I'm going to propose some public school reforms that might ACTUALLY produce a transformational change in the public schools. Some are no-brainers; some will be quite radical.

But all of them will have at their core one question: how can we best guarantee that the public schools are not an impediment to, and may actually serve to realize, the potential that every student holds when they walk through our doors?

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