A Glimpse at New Schools: West Denver Prep II Looks Like a Great Sequel

So this isn’t exactly a NEW school. But West Denver Prep, arguably the city’s most successful charter, has added a new campus and the opportunity to serve more students.

Back in May my Education Policy Center friends visited the original West Denver Prep. Ben DeGrow summed up the visit:

You can’t help but leave the grounds of the school on Federal near Jewell thinking that though the challenge is great, there is definitely hope to do more to improve educational opportunity for the poor children of our nation’s inner cities.

And now, a little over a mile away, West Denver Prep II has completed its first month in action, reaching out to a largely poor and Hispanic population, motivated by three Core Beliefs:

  1. Every child deserves a demanding, standards-based education.
  2. Accountable community develops character.
  3. Great teachers are essential for academic excellence.

Some excellent first efforts have had truly forgettable sequels: If you doubt me, think of Caddyshack II, The Sting II, and Speed II. (Sorry to dredge up painful memories there.)

But with a strong track record, great leadership, and an aptitude to listen and learn and improve even more, I am hopeful that the new West Denver Prep will be remembered more as the educational equivalent of The Godfather: Part II. (Not that my parents have let me see it yet, but I hear it’s one of the best of all-time.)

Other new schools featured: