A year-long community research initiative led through the PEACE Collective reveals that Brown, Black, and Indigenous students and their families in DPS care deeply about quality and equity in public education, and envision a school district that offers equal access to everything that they need to thrive.
RootED Denver commissioned the research to examine and report the perspectives of students and families throughout DPS on what quality and equity mean to them. It found: “To be culturally responsive and just, the DPS system must acknowledge, account for, and address differential experiences and needs based on racial and socioeconomic injustice.”
The researchers, who mirror the ethnic diversity of the district, collaborated to determine how the inquiry would be conducted, and then finalized the questions to gain the most insight from the community.
Participants were recruited through community organizations that include: Colorado Youth Congress, FaithBridge, Project VOYCE, Transform Education Now (TEN), and Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA). YAASPA led the coalition in executing the study.
The Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education report was released at the DPS Candidate Workshop hosted by YAASPA at Montbello High School. Researchers explained the report and detailed how they hoped this important information, directly from the voice of the community, would aid in the support of equitable outcomes for all students. Youth leaders then hosted discussions with Board of Education candidates about topics related to the report and had small group discussions with students and adults alike to problem solve on certain issues.
This project is timely, in light of the district’s efforts to develop a new strategic plan with a new Board of Education, which involves community input and asks community members about characteristics of a DPS graduate, the meaning of educational equity, and actions the district should take to improve education for students.
The report makes ten recommendations, including ensuring consistency across and within DPS schools for equitable, quality rigorous education, and improving parent/family communication, support, and opportunities for learning and growth. As we share this information with Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero, and other district leadership, we hope it guides the strategic vision for the district towards a future where every child in Denver has access to an education that enables them to pursue the path of their choice.
Executive Summary – Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education
View the executive summary of Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education.
Full Report – Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education
View the full report of Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education.
Webinar on Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education
In December 2021 RootED Denver hosted a virtual community conversation to dive into the report Community Views on Quality and Equity in Education. We heard directly from the report researchers about the year-long research initiative led through the PEACE Collective which reveals that Brown, Black, and Indigenous students and their families in DPS care deeply about quality and equity in public education, and envision a school district that offers equal access to everything that they need to thrive.
The webinar covered the report’s core recommendations and the researchers discussed with the community how this information can support equitable outcomes for all students. Denver Public Schools—Colorado’s largest school district is on the path to create a new strategic plan and this report will help shape the future for our kids. Panelist included:
- María del Carmen Salazar, Ph.D.
- Antwan Jefferson, Ph.D.
- Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D.
- Tracie Trinidad, MNM