Tag Archives: Montclair Elementary

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 […]


Why Aren't Union Leaders Listening to Montclair's Request to be Free?

Last week I gave a “cautious hooray” to the new Innovation Schools Act, which makes it easier for individual schools to free themselves from the red tape and union rules that crush reform efforts. The movement came to life last December when Bruce Randolph School asked for autonomy. Bruce Randolph and Manual High School have had a hard time getting the local teachers union to approve their requests. Now another Denver school – Montclair Elementary – has come forward, reports the Rocky Mountain News, only to face similar obstruction: Montclair teachers voted 22-1 in favor of seeking autonomy, and the staff sent the request to DPS and to the teachers’ union on April 18. DPS board members unanimously approved the request on May 15. But Kimmal and his principal, Shannon Hagerman, say they’ve had no response from the union. So Friday, the last day for teachers in DPS, Hagerman, four parents and 21 teachers went to union headquarters downtown. “We don’t want to go through the summer without any agreement with them,” Kimmal said. Union leaders, including Denver Classroom Teachers Association President Kim Ursetta, were out, attending a Teachers Union Reform Network conference in Vail. At least they weren’t sick […]