Eight new Denver schools will open by 2013 after last night's school board meeting, six of which are charter schools. One will be Denver's first all boys charter school and will be geared toward helping minority and low-income boys in the district's far northeast.
The proposed school, Miller-McCoy Academy, intends to replicate its Miller-McCoy counterpart that opened in New Orleans in 2008 where its student body is 99 percent black and one percent Vietnamese, according to the Denver Post.
Wellington Webb, Denver's first black mayor, supports the model along with Community College of Denver dean of students Ryan Ross. Ross would serve on the board if the school board creates the charter.
Finance Officer for Miller McCoy Academy Academy for Mathematics and Business Tiffany Hardrick told the Denver Post:
We looked for an area where less than 50 percent of boys of color are graduating and that is made up of more than 70 percent receiving free or reduced lunch. Far northeast fit the bill just right.
Many of our strategies are true for boys in general, but there are definitely things that make us culturally competent.
An excerpt from the Miller McCoy charter school application form:
Research on highperforming schools serving low-income and minority populations has consistently demonstrated that a culture of no excuses and a belief in the ability of all students to achieve at high levels is of paramount importance to securing positive student outcomes. Miller McCoy will serve urban males in grades 6-12 in the Far Northeast region of Denver. This subgroup of students historically have lagged behind making the above-mentioned research that much more important. We understand that this mission is filled with challenges. It is a massive undertaking to enroll students that may, and in most cases will be behind academically and adequately prepare them for college
However Education News Colorado reported concerns about the model that were raised early on by school board President Theresa Pena, because the far northeast Denver region is predominantly latino with 35 percent English language learners.
In the first week of June, Theresa Pena is quoted in Education News Colorado:
I don’t see any Latino leaders. When I look at your board, I don’t see a representative mix … I have some anxiety, based on your current proposal.
The school board has also attracted criticism for pooling education programs from outside the state.