The 2008 Charter Friends recipients, announced today, are:
Tim Gallagher, board member, Landmark Academy
Rep. Karen Middleton (D-Aurora)
Sen. Bob Hagedorn (D-Aurora)
Michael Bennett, Superintendent of Denver Public Schools was the lunch speaker at the second day of the annual charter school conference. He started by saying only 9% of DPS ninth graders will graduate from a four-year college; by stating this fact first, he was acknowledging the needs in DPS before talking about things they're doing in DPS to rectify problems. Bennett said that failure shouldn't be treated as someone else's problem.
There are 20 charter schools operating in Denver, serving about 8,000 students or 10% of the total student population. As many as four more charter schools may be approved to open in the fall of 2009.
Bennett said the solution in DPS lies in both charter and noncharter choices. He explained that DPS was being thoughtful about which schools they approve. Last year DPS put out a Request for Proposals that identified which types of schools the district needed and extended an invitation to school developers to propose charter or noncharter schools to meet these needs.
When asked what is his greatest challenge, Bennett responded that some people think they're moving too slow in DPS.