Denver Public Schools, Colorado

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Colorado school is a school district in Colorado.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Colorado school district websites

This website was most recently evaluated on 12 Feb 2012.

The good

  • The school district explains how tax revenues are allocated, and at what rate citizens are taxed. [1]
  • Budgets are available from 2009. Audits are available on the same page. [2]
  • School Board meetings are accessible on the school's website. [3]
  • Names and contact information are available for all school board members except the president. [4]
  • Superintendent name and contact information are posted. [5]
  • Information on how to make CORA requests is available. [6]
  • Reports for national [7] and state wide [8]progress reports are

made available online.

  • Forms used in background checks appear online. [9]

The bad

  • Contracts and bids over $10,000 are not listed. However, information on how to obtain a contract with the district is prevalent. [10]

School board

The Denver Public School District elects board members from 5 districts, and two at-large representatives. Board members serve staggered four-year terms.

Member District Position
Nate Easley District 4 President
Arturo Jimenez District 5 Vice President
Jeannie Kaplan District 3 Secretary
Mary Seawall At Large Treasurer
Bruce Hoyt District 1 --
Andrea Merida District 2 --
Theresa Pena At Large --

Pay and pension

Denver Public School Board Members receive no salary. [11]


Denver Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.[12]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2013-2014 $488,225,944 65.6% $175,237,735 23.5% $20,984,840 2.8% $58,029,112 7.8% $1,646,540 0.2% $744,124,171
Averages: $488,225,944 66% $175,237,735 24% $20,984,840 3% $58,029,112 8% $1,646,540 0% $744,124,171

Academic performance


The Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community. The primary purpose of the assessment program is to determine the level at which Colorado students meet the Colorado Model Content Standards in the content areas assessed. The CSAP is collaboratively developed by the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado teaching community and CTB/McGraw-Hill. The data should be used to keep abreast of individual student, school, and district progress toward attaining higher student achievement levels. The fact that CSAP is based on the Colorado Model Content Standards will ensure that all districts are held to the same challenging standards that Coloradans expect for their students regardless of whether they live in urban, suburban, or rural areas.[13]

Three-year performance trends

Denver district performance for years 2009-10, 2008-09, and 2007-08:[14]

Performance Indicators Rating  % Earned
Academic Achievement Does Not Meet 29.2%
Academic Growth Approaching 58.3%
Academic Growth Gaps Approaching 52.8%
College and Workforce
Approaching 41.7%
Total 47.3%

What do the performance indicators measure?

  • Academic Achievement: The Achievement Indicator reflects how a district's students are doing at meeting the state's proficiency goal: the percentage of students proficient or advanced on Colorado's standardized assessments. This Indicator includes results from CSAP and CSAPA (Reading, Writing, Math and Science), and Lectura and Escritura.
  • Academic Growth: The Growth Indicator measures academic progress using the Colorado Growth Model. This Indicator reflects 1) normative growth: how the academic progress of the students in this district compared to that of other students statewide with a similar CSAP score history in that subject area, and 2) adequate growth: whether this level of growth was sufficient for the typical (median) student in this district to reach an achievement level of proficient or advanced on the CSAP within three years or by 10th grade, whichever comes first.
  • Academic Growth Gaps: The Gaps Indicator measures the academic progress of historically disadvantaged student subgroups and students needing to catch up. It disaggregates the Growth Indicator into student subgroups, and reflects their normative and adequate growth. The subgroups include students eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch, minority students, students with disabilities (IEP status), English Language Learners, and students needing to catch up.
  • College and Workforce Readiness: The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Indicator measures the preparedness of students for college or jobs upon completing high school. This Indicator reflects student graduation rates, dropout rates, and average Colorado ACT composite scores.


Denver Public School teachers are represented by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association. The association states its core values as:

  • Equal Opportunity. We believe public education is the gateway to opportunity. All students have the human and civil right to a quality public education that develops their potential, independence, and character.
  • A Just Society. We believe public education is vital to building respect for the worth, dignity, and equality of every individual in our diverse society.
  • Democracy. We believe public education is the cornerstone of our republic. Public education provides individuals with the skills to be involved, informed, and engaged in our representative democracy.
  • Professionalism. We believe that the expertise and judgment of education professionals are critical to student success. We maintain the highest professional standards, and we expect the status, compensation, and respect due all professionals.
  • Partnership. We believe partnerships with parents, families, communities, and other stakeholders are essential to quality public education and student success.
  • Collective Action. We believe individuals are strengthened when they work together for the common good. As education professionals, we improve both our professional status and the quality of public education when we unite and advocate collectively.


Denver Classroom Teachers Association Board Members [15]
Executive Office Officer
President Henry Roman, DCTA Office
Vice President Melissa Underwood-Verdeal, Henry World School
Treasurer Lawrence Garcia, East High School
Secretary Susan Pinkney-Todd, South High School
Sector Represented Representatives
Northwest Beka Brewbaker-Toney, Colfax
Diana Hernandez, Trevista
Loralie Cole, Trevista
Lynne Valencia-Hernandez, Beach Court
Northeast Cathy Moore, Archuleta
Eric Rapp, Amesse
Carsten Engebretsen, Waller
Open Seat
Southwest Diane Anderson, Specialized Service Providers
Zach Rupp, LEAP Project, Outreach
Angela Kullhem, Henry
Benita Cervantez, Kunsmiller
Southeast Pedro Camacho, George Washington
Dolly Calderon, Samuels
Erich Smeaton, South
Open Seat

School choice

Since November 2010, Denver Public Schools has implemented a charter system into their school districts under the "DPS Charter Compact." [16] Fourteen new charter schools have opened in district facilities in 2010. As of August of 2011, sixteen charter schools will be open.

The DPS Charter Compact sets guidelines by which student participation is addressed. The compact focuses on three areas: enrollment, special populations, and resources. There is a three-phase plan to fully implement the compact so that charter schools maximize their positive impact for all students in the district.


  1. Community Guide to Understanding the Denver Schools Budget. May 2005, (PDF) Accessed 14 November 2011].
  2. Denver Schools -- budget and finance
  3. Denver Public Schools -- Board Docs
  4. Denver Public Schools -- Board
  5. Denver Public Schools -- Superintendent
  6. Denver Public Schools -- Public Records
  7. [ Denver Public Schools -- AYP
  8. [ Denver Public Schools -- CSAP results
  9. Request for Criminal History. (PDF) Accessed 14Nov 2011
  10. [ Denver Public Schools -- Purchasing
  11. Brennan, Charlie. "DPS board approves new spending policy," 21 Oct 2011. Accessed 14 November 2011.
  12. Denver Public Schools, "Adopted Budget Book FY2013-2014," Accessed November 27, 2013
  13. about CSAP
  14. Denver CSAP
  15. [ Denver Classroom Teachers Association -- Board of Directors
  16. DPS -- Charter Compact

External links