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DPS Honored as a Great District for Great Teachers, One of Eight Winners Nationwide

Mar. 7, 2017
Chief of Human Resources Debbie Hearty accepting Denver Public Schools' Great District for Great Teachers award at South by Southwest in Austin, TX.

Denver Public Schools today was named a Great District for Great Teachers, an award given to just eight districts nationwide by the National Council on Teaching Quality. DPS was selected as a national leader in developing and caring for great teachers so they, in turn, can deliver great instruction to their students.

“The quality of our teachers is the single most important factor in the success that we have for our kids,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “We are honored to be selected as one of the first Great Districts for Great Teachers.”

The council, known as NCTQ, chose DPS after a rigorous evaluation of districts’ data, policies and teacher input. The eight winners excelled on five criteria that research suggests connect to effective teaching — compensation, professional support, effective management and operations, career and leadership opportunities, and support services for students.

In particular, DPS was cited for its teacher leadership opportunities and principal support. Read more about the district’s specific award analysis.

“We are especially pleased that this award recognizes our path-breaking Teacher Leadership & Collaboration model that provides significantly more coaching and instructional supports for our teachers,” Boasberg said, “as well as our strong principal pipeline programs that help aspiring school leaders to grow and develop their leadership skills.”

Click to learn more about the Teacher Leadership & Collaboration model, which allows DPS’ best teachers to coach and grow other teachers in their schools while staying true to their first love, teaching their own classroom of kids.

This is the first year of the Great Districts for Great Teachers awards. The other award winners are Boston Public Schools, Broward County School District (Florida), District of Columbia Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools (Georgia), New York City Public Schools, Pinellas County School District (Florida) and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

“Great Districts for Great Teachers is a celebration of great teaching,” said NCTQ President Kate Walsh. “We celebrate the hard, often politically challenging efforts by a special group of school districts who have managed to put together policies and practices that make them great places for great teachers to work.”

NCTQ developed the criteria for this honor based on its decade-long experience analyzing district human capital policies and practices, as well as input from teachers and other education leaders. Some of the criteria included:

  • Professional development and coaching are tailored to teachers’ needs and include plenty of collaborative planning time.
  • Schools are run efficiently, with evidence that the district allows its schools to make the decisions that are in their best interest.
  • There’s plenty of opportunity for teachers to take on leadership roles.

“We want to be the district that every teacher wants to come to in order to teach and have the opportunity to lead,” said DPS Chief of Human Resources Debbie Hearty.

In choosing the winners, researchers carefully evaluated data from the teachers’ contracts, examined documents and data submitted by the district, and surveyed and interviewed teachers. NCTQ staff verified the selected finalists through focus groups with teachers and interviews with leaders in each district.

NCTQ organized the Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative because it believes supporting and aiding great teachers is the best way to shape a better future for all students. Great teachers not only provide an excellent education for their own students, they also become inspiring role models and leaders for the entire teaching profession.

Click to learn more about the National Council for Teaching Quality.