This week, eight Colorado superintendents sat on a stage together and fielded questions about school funding, the future of unions, state testing and teacher quality.The annual superintendents’ forum at downtown Denver’s Seawell Ballroom was sponsored by the Public Education Business Coalition, a non-profit partnership that includes the Boettcher Teachers Program, on-site training for teachers in metro-area districts and EdNews Colorado.
Kent Thiry, CEO of DaVita, moderated the far-ranging conversation after instructing the superintendents to provide more than “vanilla pablum” responses for the audience of several hundred.
The participating superintendents, listed in order of size of district:
- Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson
- Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg
- Douglas County Superintendent Liz Fagen
- Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Mary Chesley
- Adams 12 Superintendent Chris Gdowski
- Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry
- Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Scott Murphy
- Center Public Schools Superintendent George Welsh
At the end of the 90-minute discussion, which also touched on the Common Core curriculum and standardized testing, Thiry asked each superintendent to close with a quick fill-in-the-blank response to the statement “I’m optimistic about education because … ”
This video shows each of the schools chiefs answering in turn. For a quick overview of the discussion, you can read the Twitter feed from the event in Storify. And for the full conversation, check out our podcast.