Former Mayor of Denver Federico Peña penned an op-ed in the Denver Post this morning that torches the Denver Board of Education for failing Denver’s kids.
“Our schools–our kids—are in crisis and the Denver Board of Education is ignoring the dismal performance of our students and not listening to our community,” Peña writes in the op-ed.
Accompanying the op-ed is a list of tragic stats emphasizing the scale of the failure in Denver:
Only 12% of third graders district wide are meeting grade-level benchmarks in reading.
Only 5% of Black third graders and 5% of Latino third graders are reading on grade level; meanwhile, 30% of white third-graders are meeting the same benchmark– demonstrating startling achievement gaps between white students and students of color.
55% of white third-graders in Central Denver are meeting grade-level reading benchmarks, while only 3% of Latino students in Southwest Denver are meeting those same benchmarks.
In some schools, 0% of third-grade students are reading on grade level and, in one school, only 31% of all fifth graders are meeting grade-level benchmarks that would indicate that they are on track to advance to middle school.
Peña should be commended for standing up for Denver’s kids and holding the school board accountable for such overwhelming failure.