A lot has been going on with DPS and our community the last few months. A group of parents started the “Choose North Now” movement, The Board of Education placed two measures (3A and 3B) on the ballot for November, and DPS has admitted that they are failing to close the achievement gap.

Please join me for coffee and conversation:

Thursday, October 11th and October 18th

8-9am at Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe

2005 West 33rd Avenue, Denver

Over the next few months, I’ll be holding coffees in the community around the district and the city, and want to hear from you.

 

Choose North Now (CNN): Our community is proud of the recent academic progress at North High School (NHS) after only one year with Principal Veltze. NHS posted the highest TCAP cumulative growth percentile of all traditional high schools (grades 9-12) in all of Denver Public School, including:

1)      Twelve percent (12%) increase in reading proficiency
2)      Nine percent (9%) increase in writing proficiency
3)      Eleven percent (11%) increase in science proficiency
4)      Fourteen (14%) increase in passing of AP tests
5)      Fifty-eight percent (58%) reduction in out of school suspensions
6)      Ninety percent (90%) of all 9th grade students were involved in at least one athletic team or activity/on-campus club

90% of NW children attend an elementary school in the NW and NW middle school-age enrollment is climbing dramatically (Skinner Middle School enrollment has increased 33% in 3 years).  NHS will see dramatic enrollment growth in the near future. The 1,300 supporters of CNN are committed to save North’s capacity for NHS, a traditional school with arts, academic rigor, world language, and athletics . Michael Kiley from CNN will join us if you have questions or want to get involved.

Ballot initiatives 3A/3B: On a split vote, the Board placed a mill levy override and a bond on the November ballot. Personally I am supporting the Mill 3A and opposing the Bond 3B. While the Mill has a needed cost of living increase for teachers and funds for crucial programs, I am opposing the bond because DPS is already nearly 2 billion in debt. This bond is inequitable and doesn’t meet the needs of our district. We can put a better bond on the ballot next year that is fiscally responsible and equitable to all DPS children. Come and hear my plan that costs taxpayers less and provides fairness to the lower income kids of DPS, and take a look at these websites for more information:

http://noon3bdenver.com/
http://denverforexcellentschools.org/

Achievement Gap: At the same time that the administration likes to trumpet a few elite schools, they have been forced to admit they have not helped low income students. From an interview with the Denver Post earlier this fall, the Superintendent acknowledged his failings: Boasberg also noted that “striking achievement gaps” remain in his district and “we’re extraordinarily aware of how far we have to go to close them.”
Rosa Linda’s has been a staple of the community for years and you may have heard they’ve been harassed and threatened recently because they didn’t want a national Republican campaign to use them as a backdrop. I respect that they have always been a place for our local community to gather and discuss important issues. If you can’t join me either of these days, I hope you find the time to stop in and support them (and get a great meal of course).

 

I am also updating my website with information about our schools and will continue to keep you updated over the remainder of my term.

 

Arturo Jimenez

P.S. I’m dedicated to helping elect people who are dedicated to public education to any office. My colleague Jeannie Kaplan is hosting a fundraiser for 5 candidates who support Public Education, and I’ll be hosting it with her. Please consider joining us or contributing to their campaigns. You can see the invitation here.