What Parents Demand

Published October 1, 1997

“We are asking the Denver District Court to do what DPS and the teachers union won’t,” declare Sharlot Smith and John Wilkins, co-chairs of the Denver Parents Association and plaintiffs in a class-action suit filed against the Denver Public Schools. They are seeking:

  • Dramatic improvement in DPS quality and standards, as measured by national standardized tests.
  • Annual reports from each school of cumulative scores on standardized tests, so that parents know how their children are faring.
  • An end to the DPS policy of reassigning ineffective teachers and administrators to different schools; instead, the policy should be to train and hire the best teachers possible.
  • A program to allow poor and middle-income parents to use their tax dollars to send their children to whatever school best serves their children, whether public or private.
  • An immediate expansion of charter schools and alternative schools to offer children and parents more options.

“Children should not be stuck in failing schools just because their parents have limited resources,” say Smith and Wilkins, noting that two-thirds of DPS students are low-income.