Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Visits DSST: Green Valley Ranch Campus
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Holds a Town Hall Meeting at DSST: Green Valley Ranch
February 28, 2012
DENVER – Today U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) Green Valley Ranch campus where he held a town hall meeting highlighting Colorado’s national leadership in public education. The event gathered more than 250 educators, parents, elected officials, business leaders and students, including 20 9th grade students from DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School. Secretary Duncan was joined by Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammondand Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg.
Secretary Duncan stressed the importance of replicating high performing schools like DSST and applauded DSST’s efforts to add more schools in Denver. Secretary Duncan’s visit to a DSST campus underscores the school’s vital role in the effort to significantly raise the bar in American public education. The Secretary identified Colorado as a key state that is leading the nation in education reform. He cited the strong collaboration between state and local policy leaders and courageous leadership in Colorado as the primary drivers for success.
DSST Public Schools, a network of five Denver charter schools, has become an exemplar for STEM education, data-driven instruction, and integrated schools nationwide. The combination of the school's highly significant year-to-year student learning growth, extraordinarily diverse student population, innovative school culture, and 100% college acceptance rate for graduates has made DSST a change agent for local public schools and a destination for school reformers from all over the country.
Other DSST Highlights Include:
- DSST: Green Valley Ranch Middle School is part of the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Far Northeast Turnaround and was the highest performing secondary school in Denver last year on the DPS school performance framework.
- DSST schools had the lowest remediation rate of any Denver Public Schools last year, and the fifth lowest rate of any Colorado school, public or private, while serving significant numbers of low income students (four times the number of low income students than the other top four schools combined).
- 95% of DSST graduates are enrolled in college within two years; 88% persist from the first to second year of college—a significant predictor for college completion.
About DSST Public Schools
DSST Public Schools (DSST) operates open-enrollment STEM charter schools and is part of the Denver Public Schools (DPS) district. DSST currently serves approximately 1,500 students with five schools on three campuses. DSST has been approved to open five additional schools on three campuses over the next five years. At full enrollment, DSST Public Schools will serve over 4,400 students, and will nearly double the number of four-year college-ready DPS graduates by 2020.
DSST Public Schools was founded as the Denver School of Science and Technology which opened in 2004. DSST: Stapleton serves students from all parts of Denver with a student population of 68 percent minority and 43 percent low income. At DSST’s second campus, DSST: Green Valley Ranch, opened in August, 2010, the student population is 85 percent minority and 68 percent low income. DSST opened its 3rd campus at Cole K-8 in the Whittier neighborhood in July, 2011 which serves 74 percent low income and 80 percent minority students.
DSST: Stapleton is widely considered to be one of the leading open enrollment STEM schools (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the U.S. DSST: Stapleton has consistently been the highest performing high school in DPS, based on growth and absolute performance. DSST: Stapleton Middle School was one of six middle schools nationally to earn an EPIC award for outstanding student growth and achievement results in 2011.
Students are selected to attend DSST through a random lottery; there are no admissions criteria. Additional information about DSST Public Schools is available at www.dsstpublicschools.org.