Yesterday was a historic day, not just for TEN, but more importantly the families and students across Denver. It is no secret that TEN believes and insists that all students are brilliant. Unfortunately, oppressive educational practices and systems don’t always agree with us. That is why we fight every single day to ensure that students are given the opportunities that they deserve. Two consecutive years in a row, on 10/10, we’ve proven that we can win this fight.
In 2018 we organized with families from Adams 14. They were upset and continually let down by the districts’ chronic underperformance. We couldn’t grasp how to make a change at the district level. Along with our parent leaders, we asked the question, “who is ultimately responsible for our school districts?” and by asking that simple question, we became empowered. Through extensive organizing and research, it was time to take action.
On 10/10/2018, we protested in front of the State Board of Education. We asked them to intervene in Adams 14, which was made possible by 1355. This changed the state accountability rules for schools and districts like Adams 14. It made certain that these districts were not only being held accountable but that they were receiving the support and oversight needed to achieve these goals. Now, Adams 14 and many other districts have external management organizations in place.
After our success with Adams 14, we realized that this was a much larger issue. This was not because of the students, parents, or teachers. Instead, it was the State Framework that allowed this to happen in the first place by not holding children to a high enough standard.
So we started organizing.
And we testified.
And we insisted.
Exactly one year later, on 10/10, we showed up with families, parents, and community leaders to testify in front of the State Board of Education. On this day, the State Board of Education approved a new State Framework. This is the first time in 10 years that the state has agreed to increase expectations for students and acknowledge their brilliance. Expectations are still not high enough and the state framework still does not have an equity focus, but this is a step in the right direction.
It is an honor to work alongside such strong and powerful families and leaders, and we are proud of the work we have accomplished. We thank everyone who has fought alongside us and supported us. Cheers to being one step closer to #10outof10!