Primary Colors

The top elementary schools in and around Denver

September 2010

Editor's Note:
5280’s 2010 schools package, “Primary Colors, ” evaluated public elementary schools primarily using the Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) Colorado Growth Model. Through the process of reporting and researching the piece, we used the latest available numbers, from 2009, as provided by the CDE, and confirmed the data as part of our fact-checking process before sending the issue to press.

The CDE has since updated the Growth Model site to include 2010 numbers. The update also included a re-calibration of past years’ statistics, including 2009, to account for students who have left or entered a school between the beginning of the school year and October 1. The effect of the CDE’s revised methodology is that, in some cases, the CDE’s updated numbers on SchoolView.org are slightly different from the numbers we published in the September issue. For a complete explanation of the Growth Model and the latest statistics on public schools, please visit SchoolView.org.

Improving the way we educate our children has become an epic, and seemingly eternal, struggle throughout the country. In Colorado, however, it looks as if administrators, educators, and elected officials are actually making progress. Schools here are embracing technology and using it to create innovative ways to evaluate students, teachers, and schools. Politicians from both parties are spearheading state and national legislation to support the cause. And parents are more involved than ever in their kids’ education. • Even with the myriad efforts at improvement, there’s still plenty of work to be done, so this year we’ve turned our lens on where it all begins: elementary education. We’ve used some of this emerging technology to evaluate the area’s top public schools, and we’ve used good old-fashioned reporting to determine Denver’s best private options. We’ve explained how the new tools work, and how the new laws might begin to make a difference. And we’ve highlighted the efforts of two moms who’ve begun doing due diligence on schools on behalf of parents everywhere. As September dawns, school is once again in session, and we’ve got a head start on the impending deluge of homework. Have a read.