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Winter 2013

On the Ground: Denver

DenverAppian Way is, without a doubt, a pretty short street. But its size doesn’t define the Ed School’s reach, which goes way beyond this tiny section of Cambridge. On the Ground is a new feature in Ed. that will focus on one of the many places around the world where we’re doing good work as a community. First up: Denver, the largest city in Colorado, and one that is lucky enough to have more annual hours of sunshine than even Miami.

PELP For the past four years, Tom Boasberg, superintendent of Denver Public Schools, has brought a team to the annual Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) summer institute, where leaders from urban school districts learn how to apply management concepts to the challenges they face.

FACULTY RESEARCH Lecturer Karen Mapp, Ed.M.’93, Ed.D.’99, former associate professor Mark Warren, and 15 doctoral students include a chapter on Denver in their new book, A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform.

CURRENT STUDENTS Two current Ed.L.D. students from cohort 1, David Rease and Alex Smith, are doing their residencies with Denver Public Schools. They are assessing data systems and trying to improve academic outcomes for students with special needs and English language learners.

Ed.L.D. cohort 3 student Thalia Nawi joined the Ed School this year. Nawi was the founding director of the Denver Public School’s Denver Teacher Residency Program.

ALUMS Alyssa Pearson, Ed.M.’03, is the executive director of accountability and data analysis for the Colorado Department of Education. Colorado state senator Mike Johnston, Ed.M.’00, was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the “7 Most Influential Educators” in 2010.

CEPR Two projects under the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR) included Denver connections. Three Strategic Data Project fellows, Chung Pham, Tracy Keenan, and Megan Marquez, are in Denver developing an early warning indicator system that tracks student progress in the Denver Public Schools from K–12 toward high school graduation and college readiness.

A team from Denver participated in the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness conference last May, which focused on taking improved teacher evaluation to scale.

PPE Last spring, the Ed school’s Program in Profession Education (PPE) held a four-day program called Leadership Institute for Superintendents: Systemic Reform in School Districts and Schools. It included a team of 15 from Denver.