What Michael Bennet Did for Denver’s Public Schools



By 05/02/2019

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A U.S. senator from Colorado, Michael Bennet, announced today that he is running for president.

In 2016, Education Next wrote about his stint turning around Denver’s public schools, calling him “an astute politician”:

In 2005, DPS was floundering. Out of 98,000 seats, 31,000 were empty, and many school buildings were half full. Almost 16,000 Denver students had left DPS for private or suburban schools. A financial crisis loomed, in the form of pension contributions the district could not afford. When Superintendent Jerry Wartgow retired in 2005, the Denver Board of Education chose Michael Bennet, chief of staff for then mayor John Hickenlooper, to replace him. Bennet had no background in public education, but he had spent time turning around failing companies for a local investment firm….

Hickenlooper, who became governor of Colorado, is also running for president.

The full Education Next article from 2016 is available here.

Earlier this year, we followed up with a look at the record of Bennet’s deputy, friend, and chosen successor, Tom Boasberg. That article is available here.

Ira Stoll is managing editor of Education Next.




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