Manny Martinez (Edison) Middle School and West High destabilization

From DPS:

Dear Parents, Educators and Community Members,

There will be a community information meeting next Tuesday, October 26th from 7:30 to 8:30 regarding Manny Martinez Middle School performance.  Please join Superintendent Boasberg, Chief Academic Officer Susana Cordova and Board of Education Vice President Arturo Jimenez for a thoughtful community discussion on the next steps for Manny Martinez.

Meeting will start promptly at 7:30 in the cafeteria at West High School.  Refreshments, childcare and translation to Spanish will be provided.

This is the first of many community conversations in the West high School community that we hope you will have with us to support and understand community and student needs.

Let’s talk about the truth here.  Manny Martinez, named after a much beloved Latino west side patriarch, has been performing abysmally.    It is the “worst-performing” school in the district, and it’s been plagued with weak leadership and serious discipline problems.  Many people on the non-collaborative reform side really want to see this school closed because it makes all other charters look bad.

However, to close this middle school will mean further destabilization of West High School, simply because there are no other middle schools that will feed into it.  There are currently no middle school options in that area.  The school board recently voted to restructure Greenlee K-8 and reverted it to a K-5. There has been a fear that the district will be moving to close West High School and will be handed over to a DSST or some other charter high school.

There has been a shift in demographics, as the Baker neighborhood is yet another in the long line of gentrified Denver neighborhoods, but there is still a significant Chicano and immigrant Latino population there.

DeFENSErs, show up to this meeting and support the Westside community members that have already started to organize to support the West High students.  Let’s bear witness to the discussion beginning there, as we knit the overall DPS strategy together with the destabilization of the Montbello neighborhood schools.

What’s with the experimentation on Black and Latino students?

Join GreenDot America at a special screening of “Waiting”

Waiting for Superman — Invite for 10-22

GreenDot America, a charter school organization, is opening up its invitation list to their special screening of Waiting for Superman. This screening will be followed by a panel discussion, and at last report, the panel will include state senator Michael Johnston, Dr. Nate Easley, a parent, a student and possibly DeFENSE’s own Lisa Calderon.

The event is on Friday, October 22 at 6:45 p.m., and RSVPs are being taken at

The flier is above. Please share! We need as much pro-neighborhood school representation as possible.

Our next event: Community discussion about Montbello turnaround plans



  • The Black Education Advisory Council (BEAC)
  • Northeast Community Congress for Education (NCCE)
  • DeFENSE – Democrats For Excellent Neighborhood School Education


Seven leading national civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the National Urban League, oppose the federal education “turnaround” agenda. Expanding charter schools, closing low-performing schools, massive teacher firings, and using competitive funding formulas are harmful to low-income children of color and their communities.

  • «     Only 1 in 5 charter schools performs better than community schools
  • «     Shutting down Montbello will force hundreds of high school students out of their neighborhood
  • «     Charters exclude the majority of children, and kick-out or weed-out children with challenges
  • «     Most teachers work hard and perform well, but can be fired by charters without due process
  • «     Charters have a higher rate of segregation, by class, race and language, than community schools
  • «     Charters perpetuate the school-to-jail track through zero tolerance policies & high-stakes testing
  • «     Charter administrators are often paid six-figure salaries, while teachers are under-paid
  • «     Highly paid DPS administrators are not held accountable for failing schools in their district
  • «     Charters, like vouchers, are another way to privatize our public school system
  • «     The biased corporate media promote charters and do not fairly report the full story of issues, problems and successes involving public neighborhood schools
  • «     Spanish speakers are often not provided with equal educational resources in charter schools
  • «     DPS Board President Nate Easely refuses to address community concerns about charter problems

OPPOSE DPS Reform Plans That Push Out Kids & Blame Teachers

5:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, 19535 E. 46th Ave., Denver


  • Ñ       Ford Elementary: Replace with Denver Center for International Studies ECE-5 program
  • Ñ       Green Valley Elementary: Hire new principal and staff
  • Ñ       McGlone Elementary: Hire new staff under newly hired principal
  • Ñ       Oakland Elementary: Replace with SOAR charter elementary school
  • Ñ       Rachel B. Noel Middle: Phase out the current program for seventh- and eighth-graders while starting a new 6-12 arts program with 100 students per grade that will grow one grade a year. Also, co-locate a KIPP middle school within the building.
  • Ñ       Montbello High School: Phase out the current program while starting a 9-12 collegiate prep academy for 150 to 200 students per grade that will grow one grade per year. Also, co-locate a new Denver Center for International Studies 6-12 school within the building. Also open a high-tech early college.

For more information please contact or call 720-933-7764


Patrocinado por

Black Education Advisory Council

Northeast Community Congress For Education (NCCE)

DeFENSE – Democrats For Excellent Neighborhood School Education


7 importantes grupos de derechos civiles incluyendo NAACP y la National Urban League se oponen a la agenda federal de  “turnaround” “darle giro”. Aumentar el numero de las escuela “charter”, cerrando escuelas de bajo rendimiento, despidos masivos de maestros y usando formulas de financiamiento como que fueran negocios, son muy dañinos a nuestros niños y nuestras comunidades.

  • « Solo 1 en 5 escuelas charter dan mejores resultados que muestras escuelas comunales
  • « Cerrando a la escuela Montbello forzara a 100s de estudiantes fuera de sus escuelas del barrio
  • « Charters excluyen la mayoría de niños y no aceptan niños con necesidades especiales
  • « En las escuelas charters los maestros trabajan muy duro con nuestros niños pero los pueden despedir sin razones.
  • « Los administradores de charters reciben altos salarios y los maestros mucho menos.
  • « Las charters trazan una line directa de escuela a cárceles para los niños debido a dura disciplina y exámenes muy estrictos.
  • « Charters segregan a nuestros niños por clases económicas, raza y lenguaje mas que escuela de comunidad
  • « Los administradores del Distrito Escolar reciben altísimos salarios y no responden a nadie por sus errores
  • « Charters, como los cupones de educación, están tratando de privatizar las escuelas
  • « La prensa esta de el lado de los charters y no reporta la historia completa.
  • « Los niños Hispanos no reciben la misma oportunidad de los de habla inglesa
  • « Oficiales electos como Nate Easley rehúsan examinar los problemas creados por las Charter


5:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, 19535 E. 46th Ave., Denver

Ñ       Ford Elementary: Eliminada, en su lugar Denver Center for Internacional Studies ECE-5 (apoye)

Ñ       Green Valley Elementary: Nuevo director y personal

Ñ       McGlone Elementary: Nuevo personal y reciente director

Ñ       Oakland Elementary: En su lugar SOAR charter elementary school

Ñ       Rachel B. Noel Middle: Quitar el presente programa para 7 y 8 grados y comenzar uno nuevo para artes para grados 6-12 para 100 niños por grado y aumentara un grado por año. Tambien en el mismo sitio abriran una escuela KIPP media

Ñ       Montbello High School: Quitar el presente programa y comenzar uno para 9-12 de preparación de collage para 150-200 estudiantes  que aumentara un grado por año. En el mismo sitio poner a otra escuela para 6-12 de Denver Center for International Studies, Tambien otra escuela para High Tech early college.

Para mas informacion llame al número: 720-933-7764

Our next event: Corporate Media Bias and School Reform

Democrats For Excellent
Neighborhood School Education


How Corporate Media Shapes the School Reform Debate
(and what Progressives can do about it)

Wednesday Sept. 15th, 2010
Crossroads Theater – Five Points
2590 Washington Street (26th & Welton)

Community members, grassroots journalists and social media activists will shine the spotlight where the mainstream media refuses to go, including:

  • The myth of objectivity in a one-newspaper city
  • Corporate media & the Charter School Industrial Complex
  • School privatization, gentrification & corporate interests
  • Critique of pro-reform infomercials like “The Lottery” and “Waiting for Superman”
  • Grassroots “trouble-makers” vs. corporate saviors
    Casting teachers as villains and administrators as heroes
  • “Civil Rights”as a corporate slogan
  • Strong women facing the Goliath political machine
  • Community engagement: the missing link
  • Power to the people through grassroots story telling

Supporting Organizations: Northeast Community Congress for Education, Colorado Black Round Table, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Black Education Advisory Council, and the Diverse Neighborhood Collective

For more information or to join the DeFENSE coalition, please contact: