|According to the CCHE report, 1,075 DPS students enrolled in a 2- or 4-year institution of higher education in Colorado in 2011. Of these, 672 students, or 58.9%, required one or more remedial classes.
This number is consistent with the percentage of students requiring remedial course work from DPS' class of 2010 (59%). Five years ago, DPS' graduating class of 2007 had a remediation rate of 56.5%, or 2.4 percentage points lower than this year's class.
According to the report, the percentage of first-time recent high school graduates students placed into remediation in at least one subject increased from the previous year (31.8 percent in 2010-11 from 28.6 percent in 2009-10). Students not requiring remediation have higher 1-year retention rates at both 2-year and 2-year institutions compared to students with remedial needs.
Only 21.4% of DPS graduates chose to enter a 2- or 4-year higher education institution in the state in 2011. Approximately 50% of all Colorado high school graduates enroll in a 2- or 4-year institution located in Colorado.
Denver Public Schools serves approximately 80,000 students in Denver County Colorado. DPS' mission is to "...to provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our society."
DPS has been a particular focus of urban school reform initiatives over the past 5 years, when then Superintendent Michael Bennet released The Denver Plan. The plan has since been updated by Bennet's replacement, Tom Boasberg. Reforms outlined in The Denver Plan have focused on achieving better outcomes for Denver's students, in particular, creating students who are college ready upon high school graduation.
Recently, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) released its 2011 high school graduation rates for school districts and high schools across Colorado. DPS' over all graduation rate was 56.1%. This rate was up from 51.8% in 2010 and 52% in 2007. In all, DPS had a graduation base of 5,008 students in 2011.
The following equation can be used to determine the percent of student's prepared for college based on a school district's graduation base: The number of DPS students entering college * (1 - The remediation rate)/The graduation base.
For DPS, this equation looks like this: 1,075 * 0.411/5008 = 8.7%.
DPS has been mum on the issue, other than Superintendent Boasberg's statement that the results are troubling.
The CCHE report did not include students attending college from Manual High School or Bruce Randolph because less than 25 students from each of these schools entered a 2- or 4- year institution. Manual had 90 students classified as seniors and Bruce Randolph had 80.
Bruce Randolph was mentioned in President Obama's State of the Union address in 2010 as being an example of how an urban school could turn around. According to Obama --
...after the first year of the school's transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said "Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing ... that we are smart and we can make it."
During the address, Obama asserted that 87% of Bruce Randolph's graduates were accepted to college. Of these, no more than 30% chose to attend based on CCHE's exclusion of the school's remediation rates once students entered college.