DENVER – An independent education organization ranked Douglas County Schools as the highest performing of the state’s most populous school districts.
Schooldigger.com, a group created in 2006 to “empower parents … to make informed choices,” analyzes comprehensive data compiled from the U.S. Department of Education and the individual states to develop profiles and rankings for more than 130,000 schools nationally.
The analysis ranked Douglas County Schools top among the state’s largest school districts for 2011-2012, three slots ahead of Littleton Schools, eight slots ahead of Boulder Valley RE2, 13 slots ahead of Cherry Creek Schools, and 29 higher than Jefferson County Schools.
“Our goal is prepare every single student for the college or career path of their choice. The schooldigger.com rating is one more data point that points to our success,” said Douglas County School District spokeswoman Cinamon Watson. “DCSD is a district with strong traditions of innovation, excellence, and economic efficiency and we will continue to strive to do even more for our students.”
Douglas County’s school board has been among the most creative in the country, moving forward with a number of reforms. Some of those reforms — a performance pay for teachers program, the elimination of district subsidies for union executives’ salaries and expenses, and the suspension of collective bargaining negotiations – have put the board at odds with the teachers union.
Of the 123 Colorado districts Schooldigger ranked, Douglas County — which is home to more than 60,000 students – was the eighth ranked district when considering systems of all population-size. Douglas County Schooled lagged behind just a handful of districts with much smaller student populations.
The overall top ranked district in the State, according to Schooldigger, was Plateau District (Re-5), with a student population of 171.