A national report on the quality of city preschool programs across the country gives Denver a mediocre rating, but program leaders and the report’s authors say the 10-point checklist doesn’t tell the whole story.
The report finds that the Denver Preschool Program, a sales tax-funded initiative that offers preschool tuition assistance to all city 4-year-olds, meets only four of 10 quality standards. The benchmarks Denver fails to meet relate to class size, staff-child ratio, teacher credentials, mandated health screenings, and annual teacher training hours.
Denver did meet a separate standard requiring at least 30% of eligible preschoolers to be enrolled. By meeting that threshold — the program’s actual enrollment rate is about 60% — Denver was one of 16 cities to earn a “bronze medal” in the 40-city evaluation released Thursday. Seventeen cities won gold and silver medals, and seven cities didn’t medal.