The grassroots organization Padres y Jóvenes Unidos (PJU) won district-wide school discipline reform for Denver Colorado a few years ago. Now they've released their 4th annual "Denver Community Accountability Report Card," tracking school discipline data across the district in a comprehensive and functional manner that holds schools accountable to the students and communities they serve. Especially important, for the first time this report looks at individual schools, showing that although many progressed, others still need significant reform.
Last winter, PJU published a case study of their successful, statewide fight for school discipline reform titled, "Lessons in Racial Justice and Movement Building." The case study detailed the particulars of their organizing work, in the hopes that other districts, states and grassroots organizations would be able to use that knowledge to build successful school discipline reform campaigns in their own communities.
The new annual report builds on this continued effort, as this year's version is particularly robust. By highlighting discipline data for individual schools, PJU can both point out which school need to improve and provide strategies for helping those schools build a more positive environment for their students. As PJU explains:
"While passing policies is no easy task, ensuring they are faithfully implemented is an even more difficult endeavor. In our Campaign to End the School-to-Jail Track in Colorado, we are now focused on holding power accountable for fidelity and implementation of the new policies and laws. Through this work we have demonstrated the immense power that exists within communities of color, and how youth organizing in particular, can be a driving force for systemic change and reform."
PJU has already done great things for the students and communities of Denver. Now they are continuing to set an example for other organizations, and providing yet more supports for Denver schools.