Press Release: Parents Demand Denver Public School Board Make a Commitment to SW Denver Students.

Press Release: Parents Demand Denver Public School Board Make a Commitment to SW Denver Students.

In light of recent report, SW Denver parents push for changes.DENVER, CO - The facts are in. According to the new report from Padres & Jovenes Unidos, Stand for Children, and A+ Denver - SW Denver schools need urgent attention. For too many years, parents asked the DPS board to take action, all to no avail. The time has come to say Ya Basta! Enough!
"It is unacceptable that SW Denver students are this far behind their peers in other parts of Denver," said Ricardo Martinez, Co-Executive Director of Padres & Jovenes Unidos, "Ya Basta! There can be no more excuses. The systemic issues that prevent SW Denver students from succeeding must be resolved by the board immediately. We cannot have another school year of failing schools and unprepared youth."
SW Denver parents delivered more than 1,400 names of Denver residents who signed a petition asking Denver Public Schools to develop a comprehensive intervention plan for chronically low-performing schools in Southwest Denver. The event was brought together by Stand for Children, Padres & Jovenes Unidos, and other community partners working in SW Denver, including Latinos for Education Reform, A+ Denver, school partners, and former school board members.
Parents from Southwest and Far Northeast Denver worked together to spread the petition and build community support for a comprehensive review of school quality and intervention options for low-performing schools.
"As parents, our number one job is to help our children have a successful life by making sure they have a good education," said Irene Juarez, a Stand member who collected petition signatures. "We have just a few good schools in Southwest Denver but they fill up far too quickly. I am here today to ask Denver Public Schools: Where are the rest of us supposed to go?"
Padres & Jovenes Unidos and Stand have been working with parents in a mix of traditional and public charter Southwest Denver schools for many years. But they only recently came together to review the new report, that starkly demonstrates the lower level of school quality in Southwest, as compared to the rest of the district. Parent members began studying school data trends across the district last December, incorporating the changes that have come as a result of the turnaround efforts in Far Northeast Denver, and the Kepner Middle School Transition Committee.
"It's one thing to feel as though our schools need improvement, but another to see the numbers reinforce that too many students do not have access to high-quality seats in Southwest Denver," said Oscar Zavala Castillo, a Southwest Denver parent and Stand member. "Just 7% of students from Southwest Denver are graduating ready to take college-level classes. That's unacceptable. We're happy that Denver Public Schools is taking action for Kepner Middle School, but helping one school won't solve this problem. It's time for them to address school quality across the entire Southwest region."
Parents at the rally today demanded that the Denver Public School Board form a task force on Southwest Denver schools and ensure that community voices lead that effort. The parents are planning on following up with an action next Thursday, during the school board public comment session.
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About Padres & Jóvenes Unidos
With roots in the struggle for educational justice, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos has evolved into a multi-issue organization led by people of color who work for college preparation for all students; Ending the School to Jail Track, ensuring all schools provide for the health and emotional well- being of their students; and immigrant student rights.  Padres builds power to challenge the root causes of racism and inequity by exposing the basis for injustice and developing effective strategies to realize meaningful change. For more information, visit www.padresunidos.org.
About Stand for Children Colorado
Stand for Children's mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, a college education. To make that happen, Stand educates and empowers parents, teachers, and community members to demand excellent schools; advocates for effective local, state and national education policies and investments; and elects courageous leaders. For more information, visit www.stand.org/co.

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