Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Live! From Denver, Colorado

Here’s a tip for those that don’t think that money matters in educating children.

You are in denial.  Period.

So I’m at an Advanced Placement Conference at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, just south of Denver, Colorado.  The best way to describe the town of Greenwood Village, along with Cherry Creek, is money.  Lots and lots of money.  Greenwood Village is the “tech center” of Denver, a lot like Santa Clara is to San Jose.  The school is enormous and beautiful, somewhere that looks and feels like an institution of higher learning.  The campus is bigger and nicer than Mendocino College, our local J.C. in Ukiah.  There are thousands of computers on campus and the programs that are available to kids is really, really impressive.  When we are talking about preparing kids for the college life, this place seems to have the tools to get it done.

And guess what, all of this makes me want to work here.  Not that I don’t like Ukiah, I feel fortunate that I work where I work, with the people I work with, and with the support of my administration.  But who wouldn’t want all this technology with a community that supports education and students that are motivated to succeed?  Seriously, the atmosphere is primed for attracting teachers.  My wife and I both looked at each other and for a fleeting moment, we might have wished that we weren’t stuck in a house that has lost $100,000 in value.  I had a similar feeling after going to the AP Institute in Bellevue, Washington at InterLake High School.  I feeling goes away eventually, replaced by the want to bring a better experience to the students in Ukiah.  If I can’t really get to Cherry Creek High School, I might as well bring the experience back to room F-6.

This also brings up another interesting question.  Colorado spends significantly less than California in per pupil spending, yet manages to creates this beautiful high school.  Is it how the money is spent?  Is it a matter of Cherry Creek being in the middle of an upper-class part of Denver?  If so, doesn’t that bring even more light to the fact that urban schools are underrepresented in the funding department? 

Simply put, why can’t every school in the United States be like this?    

blog comments powered by Disqus