Do Denver Public Schools' turnaround plans deserve an A?

Denver Public Schools officials have suggested a series of plans to "turn around" the city's six lowest-performing schools. But before they approve the changes, they want to hear from the public.

The Board of Education will hear public comment on the recommendations at meetings tonight and Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. The meetings will be held at the DPS building at 900 Grant Street.

The recommendations include closing Skyland Community High School -- now known as Denver Big Picture High School -- a charter school in Northeast Denver that caters to at-risk students and has been in academic hot water before. Westword wrote about it in 2007, when the Board of Education was weighing whether to renew the school's charter.

Officials are granting a bit more leeway to P.S. 1, a charter school in the Golden Triangle that's been the subject of two Westword stories: "The First Step," published in May 2000, and "Principal Principles," from February 2002. They're giving the school another year -- and then replacing it with a yet-to-be-determined model they hope will be more successful.

The recommendations also include replacing Phillips Elementary School with a charter school, shrinking the focus of Greenlee Elementary School, and co-locating the struggling Lake Middle School with West Denver Prep school, the only middle school in the city to earn a "distinguished" rating on the district-wide School Performance Framework.

Read more about the plans on DPS's website's "Turnaround Information" webpage. Then let the powers-that-be know whether you think their plans deserve an A-plus -- or an F-minus.

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