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A first look at Denver Public Schools’ new strategic plan

Alex Marrero said in an interview that he intentionally framed the plan as a fluid roadmap, with goals to be accomplished by 2026, rather than a rigid plan with annual benchmarks

Denver Public Schools superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero, right, speaks at Northfield High on May 26, 2022. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun via Report for America)

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More at chalkbeat.org.

A year into his tenure, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero is rolling out a new strategic plan to guide Colorado’s largest school district. 

The plan, which Marrero calls a roadmap, focuses on three broad goals: improving the student experience, improving the adult experience for educators and families, and replacing “ineffective, destructive systems” with “equitable, transparent systems,” according to a copy obtained by Chalkbeat. 

It also comes with a new catchphrase: Every Learner Thrives.

“If we are to accomplish our vision that every learner thrives, we must reframe education as a series of experiences that promote an exchange of ideas, the pursuit of passion, and a quest for justice,” the plan says. “This is the DPS experience.”

Marrero said in an interview that he intentionally framed the plan as a fluid roadmap, with goals to be accomplished by 2026, rather than a rigid plan with annual benchmarks.

“That means that even if, God forbid, we’re in a situation like a COVID-19 pandemic, we can still recalculate, just like a navigation system, and still know where we want to be in 2026,” he said.

Denver has been operating without a strategic plan since 2020, when the previous plan developed by then-Superintendent Tom Boasberg expired. Marrero’s plan comes as Denver prepares to welcome back some 90,000 students who have experienced three pandemic-disrupted school years, which has led to lost learning and lower test scores.

“We have a deep, deep hole to climb out of,” Marrero said.

Read more at chalkbeat.org.


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