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HomeEducationKwame Spearman says he’s working for Denver faculty board

Kwame Spearman says he’s working for Denver faculty board

After dropping out of Denver’s mayoral race two months in the past, Kwame Spearman introduced Monday that he’s now working for a seat on the Denver faculty board.

Spearman mentioned he’ll run for an at-large seat representing the complete metropolis. He’ll have a minimum of one opponent: faculty board Vice President Auon’tai Anderson, who presently holds that seat and introduced six months in the past that he’s working for re-election.

The election is about for Nov. 7. Three of the seven Denver faculty board seats are up for grabs. There’s rather a lot at stake, together with how the biggest district within the state will cope with declining enrollment and reply to security issues after shootings in and round faculties.

The election additionally has the potential to alter the dynamics of the board. Energy struggles amongst some members have eroded confidence within the board.

Spearman, 39, was till not too long ago the CEO of the Denver-based impartial bookstore chain Tattered Cowl, of which he’s nonetheless half proprietor. He’s additionally a graduate of Denver’s East Excessive College. His mom is a longtime educator within the system, and Spearman serves on the board of the Denver Public Faculties Basis, a nonprofit group that raises cash for the district, although he mentioned he’ll step away from that appointment in the course of the marketing campaign.

Spearman mentioned he’s working for college board as a result of DPS is “not headed in the precise route.” The board spends an excessive amount of time infighting and never sufficient time speaking about tutorial outcomes for college kids, faculty security, and “the psychological well being quagmire,” he mentioned.

“My perception is that your neighborhood deserves nice faculties, and foundational to that’s representatives from the college board beginning and ending each dialog with a give attention to pupil outcomes and tutorial excellence,” Spearman mentioned.

The neighborhood deserves a board member who’s going to spend their time listening “reasonably than tweeting throughout district conferences or combating towards different board members,” he mentioned.

Spearman shied away from calling himself a reformer however mentioned that college alternative has labored. College alternative is a key tenet of the schooling reform philosophy that lets households select the colleges they suppose finest match their children’ wants. Board members have to cease specializing in whether or not a college is district-run or constitution, he mentioned, and give attention to whether or not it’s nice.

“We are able to’t do away with that,” Spearman mentioned of college alternative. “That’s what made Denver Public Faculties in its heyday so profitable — is that folks have been lastly given the chance to determine the most effective sort of surroundings for his or her pupil.”

Tattered Cowl’s flagship retailer is positioned throughout the road from East Excessive, and Spearman is a non-parent member of the Mother and father – Security Advocacy Group, a gaggle shaped to push for change within the wake of a March capturing inside the college.

After the capturing, the college board suspended a coverage banning police from faculties and allowed 14 officers to be stationed at 13 campuses, together with two at East. If elected, Spearman mentioned he’d assist permitting every faculty to resolve whether or not they need an officer on campus. 

However he mentioned it’s not possible to let all 200 DPS faculties provide you with their very own plan. He mentioned the board ought to “entrust principals with the power to make the choice round [school resource officers] and provides them steering on the best way to make that call and choices to select from.”

Spearman dropped out of a crowded subject of 17 candidates working for Denver mayor in March, only a few weeks earlier than the election. He mentioned he received into the mayoral race late, which is what prompted him to enter the college board race early. His late entry didn’t enable him to construct alliances with neighborhood teams, he mentioned, which he hopes to do that time round.

As for which teams he’ll hunt down, Spearman named each reform teams and the Denver lecturers union, which have traditionally been on reverse sides at school board elections.

“My concern is we’re not specializing in the precise outcomes, and also you’re seeing a deterioration of the district due to it,” he mentioned. 

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, overlaying Denver Public Faculties. Contact Melanie at [email protected].



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