Tonight marks the beginning of a new era in Denver. After the resignation of Tom Boasberg, the longest tenured superintendent in district history, the district has been left leaderless for the first time in a decade. Tonight the 7 member board of education has a unique opportunity to serve the district by ensuring that the process to select the next individual responsible for the learning of ALL kids in Denver is done in partnership with the students and families of Denver Public Schools. It is critical that the DPS Board of Education to commit to an open and public Superintendent search process As DPS considers which firm to hire in order to conduct the nationwide search, Transform Education Now strongly encourages the School Board to reject any proposal that does not include a robust community engagement plan that leverages the rich diversity of culture, race, language and perspective of our great city in order to authentically reflect the true composition of our city.
The Superintendent search process must include the following:
A plan to go to the community and listen: We must understand what families and communities expect from their superintendent and it is on us to meet the community where they are.. Communities need to know that district leadership trusts parents’ vision for their children and their communities. We need to do a better job listening and building together in community. The way the district engages community in this Superintendent search process will set the tone for Denver Public Schools’ relationship with families moving forward over the next 10 years.
A plan to address trauma and build trust
Denver Public schools must acknowledge that there are areas across the district in which residents and community have felt ignored and betrayed by the district. The search for the new superintendent must include identifying these regions and place greater emphasis on rebuilding relationships and creating opportunity for authentic parent leadership in the process.
A pragmatic approach to prioritizing student and family centered policy: There are children who are not learning how to read in our city. We need to put the politics and ideology aside and build a world class school system for ALL students. We need a leader who is not afraid to lead with urgency toward student achievement and high quality educational opportunities for all students.