In the fall of the 2012–13 school year, the Denver Public Schools and SDP engaged in a research collaboration aimed at providing the district with preliminary evidence that could inform some of these questions, potentially help refine existing reform efforts, and motivate support for future initiatives, such as establishing consistent grading policies rooted in new Common Core standards. This report presents findings from our research diagnostic, illuminating the extent to which average GPAs, standardized assessment scores, and college remediation rates vary across the district and within DPS high schools; how GPAs differ for students from different racial/ethnic backgrounds; and whether knowing a student’s middle school helps predicts her subsequent success.
Denver Public Schools (DPS) collaborated with the Strategic Data Project to conduct the SDP Human Capital Diagnostic. The analysis focused on teacher recruitment, placement, development, evaluation/compensation, and retention/turnover. Because of the uniqueness of the data from DPS' ProComp teacher compensation system and its relevance to current policy discussions, we describe the evaluation/compensation analyses in depth and summarize the key findings from the other components of the diagnostic. These analyses have the potential to inform important education policy both in Denver and across the nation as education agencies consider revising traditional “lockstep” pay systems.