The Denver school board will hit pause this year on a controversial policy that calls for closing low-performing schools, as board members embark on a citywide listening tour that has the potential to change how the district defines school success.

The pause would be in effect for the 2018-19 school year. It would impact schools with chronically low test scores. The district has sought to replace such schools with new ones deemed more likely to get kids reading and doing math on grade-level – a policy that has generated significant pushback and even shouts of “shame!” at board meetings.

Instead of facing closure or replacement, low-performing schools this year would be required to give the board “written and verbal reports regarding their ongoing or proposed improvement strategies,” according to a memo written by board member Lisa Flores and district official Jennifer Holladay, who oversees the department that makes school closure recommendations.

The district would provide the board with information about the school’s academics, culture, and operations, and the board would use it “to exercise oversight of struggling schools’ improvement plans and understand the needed supports, and make decisions to move forward with those plans or choose an alternate path,” according to a written presentation.

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School closure isn’t entirely off the table. That “alternate path” could be closure – or, more likely, consolidation with another school – if a low-performing school also has dwindling student enrollment, Flores said.

Read the full story at Chalkbeat Colorado.

Chalkbeat Colorado is a nonprofit news organization covering education issues. For more, visit chalkbeat.org/co.

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Source:: The Denver Post – News

      

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Denver’s school board is taking a break from its school closure policy

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