District Progress: Watch Us Grow!

Denver Public Schools, the largest district in Colorado, is outpacing all other large districts across the state in academic progress for our kids. 

Highlights of our progress include:

  • Denver families are choosing DPS: Enrollment in preschool through grade 12 has grown 27% since 2005, up to 92,984 in fall 2016.
  • Our kids are outpacing the state in academic growth: In 2005, DPS students lagged their Colorado classmates by 20 to 25 percentile points on state English and math exams. In 2016, those gaps had closed to fewer than four percentile points in both subjects.
  • More kids are staying in school and graduating: The number of DPS graduates has increased 64% since 2005; at the same time, the number of students dropping out has declined by 56%.
  • More DPS graduates are going to college: The number of DPS graduates enrolling in college the fall after graduation has grown by 67% since 2005.

Learn more about these data points in this presentation.

Recent National Recognition

DPS has won national honors for our work with kids, families and educators. These accolades include the following:

  • Of the nearly 300 U.S. school districts serving at least 25,000 students, DPS had the second-highest academic growth in the nation (second only to Lincoln, NE), according to Education Resource Strategies. This rapid growth means that DPS students on average were a full grade ahead of where DPS students were four years previously.
  • DPS ranked #1 in the nation for school choice for a second straight year by the Brookings Institution. Denver was cited for its family-friendly choice system, including a single application for all schools. (We responded to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s criticism here.)
  • DPS was one of eight school districts nationally to be named a “Great District for Great Teachers” by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The council lauded Denver’s teacher leader model, which allows teachers to take on school leadership roles such as coaching and planning with their peers without leaving the classroom.


To learn more about these honors or any information about DPS growth and progress, please email