My name is Erica and I am the mother of a soon to be DPS student in west D
enver and a TEN parent leader. My son is intelligent, curious, and has a personality all his own. I am excited for him to join other children his age and learn to love learning like I did. But I am also panicked for my son, I am worried about his future and I am scared about the school system I am sending him into. I currently live in an area where 90% of the kids in my community are not reading on grade level. 90%!!!!!
The possibility of that number including my son keeps me up at night. What I am I supposed to do when the options in my community are clearly not meeting our needs?
Our family works hard to make sure that my son is loved, cared for and is learning, each and every day but what happens when he starts school at school where less than 30% of the students are achieving on grade level? What happens if he goes to a school where young boys of color are over represented in the discipline actions? What happens if his school doesn't foster the love for learning that his family has laid as a foundation?
This year I have taken the time to learn about school quality and school choice and what i learned is that the majority of the schools in my community are not meeting expectations set by the district and the few that are have long waiting lists. But a spot on a waitlist is not the same thing as a good education and every child in our city deserves a good education. We need to do better. We need better.
I hope that as you all prepare to choose the next superintendent that you all think about the 35,000 children without access to a great school. I hope that you listen to the parents of your district who are telling you with their frustrations, their panic,and their pain that that we need better for our kids. I hope that you listen to your community and realize that there are real problems still facing our school district and whoever you choose to lead must get to know the families they serve so that we can address our problems together with ideas big enough to make to a real difference in the lives of all of our kids.