More High-Quality Choices? Denver May Be on Verge of Major Breakthrough

Today’s big education story in the Denver Post suggests we may be on the verge of some major innovative developments that promote consumer choices and academic excellence:

This morning, the Denver School of Science and Technology charter school will announce that it plans to open four new schools over the next five years.

And this evening, Denver’s school board will vote on whether to allow Manual High and Montclair Elementary to become the state’s first “innovation schools.” The designation would give them charterlike freedoms to hire and fire and set their own calendars….

High-performing West Denver Preparatory Charter School hopes to add two middle schools in northwest Denver; the Cesar Chavez Academy organization based in Pueblo will try to open its first Denver school; and Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, wants a middle school on the west side that will feed its high school opening this August.

Organizations also are forming to help support the creation of new schools in DPS.

The Walton Family Foundation — a K-12 education-reform charity established by Wal-Mart magnate Sam Walton — is focusing on Denver.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers chose Denver as the first district it will help with more than $1 million to drive reform. [links added]

This kind of news is very promising. Not only more choices for parents, but a true variety of high-quality choices with excellent track records.

Now is the time for the Denver Public Schools board to be a bold and innovative leader, not to shy away from a tremendous opportunity. The Manual and Montclair “innovation” vote tonight figures to be very close. Here’s hoping they make the right decision.

If such a major breakthrough develops, the informative School Choice for Kids website will become even more important to parents looking to select the educational option that provides the best and most suitable opportunity for their child.