DPS Board Debates Future of Innovation Schools and Question About Teacher Rights

Published: March 15, 2022

Denver7 aired on March 9, 2022

A few years ago, Denver Public Schools adopted an innovative model, which allows schools to design their own ‘playbook’ with input from teachers, parents and the community.

“We didn’t want to be a traditional school,” said Alex Magana, executive director of Grant Beacon Middle School and Kepner Beacon Middle School. “We didn’t want to follow just these guidelines, these rules. We wanted to create our own playbook.”

But this model is now threatened. The DPS board has proposed executive limitations on innovative schools, claiming teachers don’t have a choice to opt out in those schools. The teacher’s union says that violates teacher rights.

There is now plenty of pushback against that from parents and teachers at innovation schools.

“Literacy is of the highest priority here,” said Victoria Bailey, librarian and Kepner Beacon and Grant Beacon schools. “At many schools, physical libraries are a thing of the past. There is not staffing for a physical library.”

Bailey says this is just one of the many ways innovative schools are improving education.

“We can tailor our schools based on our community, based on our demographic,” she said.

WATCH the story from Denver7.

Photo credit: KMGH