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Tom Boasberg as New Denver Public Schools Chief

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Tom Boasberg, the sole finalist being considered to head Denver Public Schools, was confronted last night about a tense issue.

“Are you planning to close our schools?” a parent of a George Washington High graduate asked Boasberg during a meeting in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.

Though Boasberg, 44, defended the closure of some elementary schools last year for financial reasons, he said no other closures are necessary, according to the Rocky Mountain News. It was a start for Boasberg, the DPS chief financial officer tapped to replace Michael Bennet, who awaits confirmation at the U.S. Senate.

Boasberg painted a picture of a system that ailed in many ways under Bennet: Fewer than half the system’s students read at grade level or are proficient in math, writing, or science, he says (via The Denver Post), and only 2,900 students graduate each year, compared to the 6,300 children who enroll annually in first grade. Boasberg outlined several goals, including attracting and retaining talented teachers and principals.

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