Winter | Issue 28 | Date: December 21, 2022
Funding Great Schools. Rooted in Community. 
Happy Holidays!
RootED’s office is closed until Tuesday, Jan. 3. If you have an urgent inquiry, please call 720-602-8377. We look forward to connecting with you in the new year!
KIPP Colorado Public Schools Receives a $6 Million 'Surprise' Donation
Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott is donating $6 million to KIPP Colorado Public Schools, a network of six public charter schools in Denver. 

It’s the largest single donation KIPP has ever received, and the largest sum Scott has awarded to a Colorado charter school network, CBS News Colorado reports. Scott also gifted $4.5 million to Rocky Mountain Prep in October. 
Taamiti Bankole, chief external affairs officer for KIPP, called Scott’s gift a “surprise,” and he credited the network’s educators, families and students with making the schools worthy of the large donation. 

"We are so humbled by it, we just love the recognition, and it's all because of our students and staff," Bankole said. 

The money will be used to provide additional mental health support to students; create pathways for KIPP alumni to work in the network; and to invest in data systems focused on classroom instruction, Bankole told CBS4.
New Research Shows Choice, Autonomy and Accountability Improved Outcomes for All Denver Students
The University of Colorado Denver’s Center for Education Policy Analysis in the School of Public Affairs has released the findings of a new, first-of-its-kind report

The report, titled “The System-Level Effects of Denver’s Portfolio District Strategy,” has found that 11 years of education reform strategies in Denver Public Schools—which prioritized choice, autonomy and accountability—led to significant and meaningful improvements in academic proficiency and graduation rates for all students. 
According to the report, the district’s comprehensive strategy from 2008-2019:

  • Improved the four-year high school graduation rate by 14.6%; in the absence of the reforms, the report finds the district’s four-year graduation rate would have remained below 60%; 

  • Improved student learning district-wide, including for students of color, English language learners, students from low-income households, and students who receive special education services; and

  • Led to at least nine months and as much as 14 months of added learning for students.

Read a summary of the research findings, watch a discussion about the research, read Colorado Public Radio’s coverage of the report, or listen to the Fordham Institute's Education Gadfly podcast with the study's co-author, Parker Baxter.
State Board of Education Orders Adams 14 to Resume Contract Negotiations with University Prep
The Colorado State Board of Education voted unanimously this month to require the Adams 14 school district and University Prep—a charter school network with two Denver campuses—to resume and complete contract negotiations for a new University Prep school in Commerce City. 

The Adams 14 board of education—which approved University Prep’s new charter school application last year—rejected the school’s contract in October without public discussion or explanation. 

This came after nearly two dozen meetings and almost 50 hours of work facilitated by a third party to develop a collaborative, fair and thorough contract between University Prep and the district. 

During the December state board meeting, the board denied an Adams 14 motion to dismiss the appeal hearing. During the subsequent appeal and in its unanimous vote, the board determined that the district’s action was not in the best interest of students, the school district or the community. The state board ordered Adams 14 to reconsider whether the contract should be approved.
We'll See You in the New Year!
This holiday season we are feeling joyful for our community and partners. As we close out 2022, the team at RootED Denver wishes you a wonderful holiday season.
1390 Lawrence Street, Suite #200
Denver, CO 80204