Denver Public Schools: Innovation & performance? Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


The report illustrates the importance ofbringing change in the DPS system of a neighborhood schooling systemthathas been underperforming withstagnant student performance and unchanged curriculum, failing to meet the demand of the parentsand in upbringing thelatest student skillset through an innovativesystem.

It outlines the active leadership of Boasberg andother team members in bringinginnovation in the teaching system, and the resistance that hastobe dealt carefully.Though till now, theDPS system has managed to innovate the procedure, however, sustaining it in the long term under theabsence of Boasberg is an issue that may result in loss of traction and dilution of the overall innovativebase in themarket.

In such situation, the Baosberg has to decide on which candidate to nominate for the interimsuperintendent inhis absence, along with the strategy tosustain the change and innovation in the DPS system so as to improve the overallteachingtechniques andoutcomes of the students’ result.

Keywords:  Innovation, Change, Resistance, Teaching system

Denver Public Schools Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Denver public Schools initiatedits operations in the late 80s. Initially, DPS offered the service of collective school systems or consortium of public schools catering a particular area.In the late 90’s, DPS adopted a new school model of charter schools, catering the rising needs and demands of the parents andstudent for different education models.

In 1997, DPS put an end to the charter school model and establishedtheneighborhood school model with an aim to increases the accountability and quality ofeducation, learning practices andexam, in order to revitalize the schooling system.Though such has been to improvethe overall rate of the education system andoutcomes in the district, increasing the performance of the overall schools,however, the increasingturnover rate of the superintendentsand the tensionbetween the teachers and unions has obstructed the goalofthe DPS system in the market, resulting in stagnant achievement and success rate of the DPS system.

In 2005, the DPS administration hired Michael Berrnet as the Superintendent of the system.Under his leadership, the DPS system developed a five year base plan in order to strategically outline the success trajectory for the DPS system. In doing so,the plan incorporated the teacher empowerment, strong leadership and close communitysystem in order to keep the pace of growth same in each neighborhood school.

In 2007, Benerd hired Boasberg to lead the DPS as the chief operation office.Since Boasberg has been a lawyer, itmade him think out of the box, makinghim innovate the overall educational system, leading to more success, improved results and close community relationships. In 2008, Colorado system initiatedapolicy to innovatethe DPS School by implementing the innovative strategies. Such has been to improve the student skills andlearning outcomes, innovating the overall education system in thedistrict.Such legislative approachallowed theschools to waiver off the CBA and state law in order to perform flexiblyand innovativelyin the market. Suchwaivers made may otherschoolsadopt the innovation platform in order to operateflexibly, optingtheir own curriculum and other administrativeapproaches.

Thoughsuch aninnovative system and approachwas intended to bringthe growth and high skilledstudentoutcomes in themarket, many schools fail to adopt the systemdue toreluctance and also the inability to connect with the innovation strategy at large.Such has been due to the incompetent teaching staffwithdifferent skillsetsandlevel of adaption to change...............

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Denver Public Schools: Innovation & performance?

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