|Mayor Hancock launches Denver Education Compact
Mayor Michael B. Hancock today launched his Denver Education Compact, announcing the Compact’s leadership and plans to move full speed ahead. With a team of strong leaders to guide the effort, the Mayor announced the Compact will focus the community’s efforts on areas that will have the greatest impact in helping Denver children succeed.
Mayor Hancock will be joined by Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Colorado President Dr. Donna Lynne to co-chair the Compact. The Mayor also announced former DPS President and current Board Member Theresa Pena as the Executive Director of the Education Compact.
Pena will begin her leadership of the Compact in November after completing her second and final term on the DPS Board.
“I am committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential,” Mayor Hancock said. “To accomplish this goal, we need seamless and effective pathways from cradle to career. I am honored that such a talented and dedicated team has agreed to join me in leading this effort.”
The Denver Education Compact is a cradle to career effort that will focus the action and resources of all stakeholders on areas that will make the biggest differences in our children’s future. Members of the Compact will come from the private, public and non-profit sectors.
The Compact will drive collaboration between the City, Denver Public Schools, higher education, business, foundation, and civic leaders in order to evaluate needs, develop strategies and implement an agenda to improve outcomes for our children. From Parks and Recreation to Human Services, the City will be a strong partner in addressing the goals set out by the Compact and deploy vast resources to support Denver’s children, families and teachers.
“This is an exciting time for Denver as we closely coordinate efforts throughout the city on behalf of our children,” Superintendent Boasberg said. “We have made more academic progress in Denver over the last six years of reform than any other major district in Colorado, and the Compact will allow us to accelerate that progress through the collective action of all stakeholders.”
Unanimously appointed DPS Superintendent in 2009, Boasberg has led DPS to post record enrollment increases, dramatically expanding the number of preschool and full-day kindergarten slots, cut the number of lowest-performing schools in half, and continued the student-achievement gains that began with the creation of the Denver Plan in 2005.
Other cities such as Boston, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Seattle have created Compact-like models that have driven overall student success. The Denver Education Compact will draw on the opportunities and challenges from all these efforts to build a plan that fits Denver’s needs.
The first act of the three co-chairs and Executive Director will be to appoint a board of stakeholders for the Compact. The board will set common goals and establish metrics that will be used to measure and monitor progress. The board will next determine the best approaches to achieve progress. Compact members will make specific commitments outlining how they will help reach these goals. Finally, the Compact will report clear measures of progress each year, and adjust strategies based on the results.
“I am pleased to join the Compact’s leadership and help to focus the private sector’s efforts in areas that will make a real difference in the lives of children,” Dr. Lynne said. “The business community is hungry for specific ways they can help by rising above the narrative of the education debate and focusing on an action agenda in areas that research tells us makes a material difference for our kids.”
Lynne has worked as a board member of the Colorado Legacy Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation and Colorado Succeeds, bringing millions of dollars in educational investments to the city of Denver and state of Colorado. In June, Lynne was appointed the Chairwoman of the DPS Foundation. In addition, Kaiser Permanente Colorado has provided significant funding to all three organizations as well as LiveWell Colorado, which supports communities throughout the state, including Denver, to promote health.
The Denver community has come out in strong support of Mayor Hancock’s goals to focus the educational efforts in the City, including the University of Colorado Denver Chancellor Jerry Wartgow who has already pledged resources from the college.
C.U. Denver will help launch the Compact including lending its Director of P-20 Education Initiatives within the Chancellor’s office, Janet Lopez. Dr. Lopez will serve as the interim-Executive Director of the Compact. Upon completion of her term on the Denver Public School Board, in November 2011, Theresa Pena will assume the position.
“It is clear that moving Denver forward and creating a brighter future for all of Denver’s children will require the coordinated efforts of all sectors of the Denver community,” Mayor Hancock said. “With the leadership of all sectors around one table, and their commitment to a common effort, we will successfully make a material difference in our children’s futures.”
See attached for Denver Education Compact briefing materials.