While we learned that Colorado’s Race to the Top application was ranked 17th out of the 19 finalists by objective reviewers, Denver was ranked 4th out of 30 cities examined in a Fordham Institute report issued yesterday on urban district reform efforts and capacities.
(Fordham probably didn’t realize that the Race to the Top results announcement would dominate this week’s ed news world, but hopefully this urban report will still get the attention it deserves).
New Orleans, with its post-Katrina reform efforts, is ranked #1, followed by Washington, DC and New York City, then Denver.
Urban districts are ranked on their human capital (Denver is 5th here), financial capital (7th), charter environment (8th), quality control (14th), district environment (10th) and municipal environment (4th), for an aggregate Denver ranking of 4th.
As with all such ranking exercises, one can argue with the ratings themselves, the categories or some of the more subjective judgments. And, a change in superintendent, school board, or mayor can alter these perspectives pretty quickly.
But, this national report does at least support the widely-shared local notion that Denver’s reform efforts are near the cutting edge of national reform, a notion that was shaken by the R2T ratings for Colorado.
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