Mind the Gap: Partnering to Narrow Denver’s Achievement Gaps by Retaining Top Teachers

The University of Colorado Boulder School of Education and the Denver Public Schools will partner to reduce racial achievement gaps by improving teacher quality.

Mimi Engel, professor of research and evaluation methodology and Allison Atteberry, assistant professor of research and evaluation methodology in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder, will partner with Sarah Almy, executive director of talent management for the Denver Public Schools, to strengthen an emerging partnership that received seed funding from the university’s School of Education. With support from the the Institutional Challenge Grant, the partners aim to create a more equitable landscape of student success for a district that has one of the widest achievement gaps in the country between Black and Latinx student and White students. The partners aim to do this by focusing on the District’s teacher workforce. The partnership will engage in three related activities: 1) create an integrated longitudinal data archive, 2) conduct a descriptive study of teacher retention patterns, and 3) use quasi-experimental methods to evaluate teacher policies that were designed to attract and retain top teachers in schools serving students from historically underserved populations. The University of Colorado Boulder is also committed to its own institutional change with efforts underway to elevate partnerships between the university and community. Kathy Schultz, dean of the School of Education and a co-PI on the project, and university leadership are exploring ways to reward partnership work as a faculty research activity and considering a new, highly selective faculty track of research-practice professorships that would receive the same pay and voting rights as research faculty.

Subscribe for Updates