Advocacy Group Sees Denver Schools Progress, With Much Work Yet To Be Done

Denver Public Schools has made substantial progress in educational achievement over the past decade compared to the rest of the state, according to a new report by the advocacy group A+ Colorado.

"Denver a decade ago was really struggling with almost every group of students," said the organization's CEO Van Schoales. "We found that in the last decade that the district has made some significant progress."

Still, there's work to do. A+ Colorado measured the district's progress against goals it set for itself. For example, DPS says that by 2020, it wants 80 percent of its students to attend a high-performing school. Right now, 64 percent of students do.

The number of Denver high school graduates who go on to college and need to take remedial coursework has been dropping, dipping below 50 percent for the first time, even as more students are graduating.

There is still a significant racial/ethnic gap in college enrollment. White and Asian students are attending college at much higher rates than other students.

And for DPS to be on track to reach its goal of a 90 percent four-year graduation rate, the rate will need to increase more than 3 percentage points each year. Since 2010, the average yearly increase has been 1.6 percentage points.

A+ Colorado was founded in 2006 as watch dog organization that advocates for better student achievement in Denver. According to its website its fiscal sponsor is the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.