Denver’s head of innovation, Alyssa Whitehead-Bust, joined officials from Ohio, California and national charter school organizations to encourage Congressional support of charter schools.

Whitehead-Bust praised the work of Denver charter schools, saying “charters do add quality seats to a system that needs them.” Although House representatives praised Denver’s charter program, it has proved more controversial closer to home.

She continued:

While Denver has shown steady improvements across all measures and all school types since 2005, charter schools have simultaneously and consistently outperformed other school models. Since 2010, our charter school enrollment has grown by 17 percent annually. Charter schools are in demand in part because their autonomies give them the opportunity to try innovative and promising new practices. If isolated to the province of charter schools alone, such promising practices would only impact 15 percent of students in Denver. But because of Denver’s approach to equity and collaboration, these promising practices are able to spread quickly to schools across governance types…I encourage Congress to align its work with the reauthorization with the important role of charter schools at the forefront of your mind.

The full testimony is available here, including questions from House representatives following Whitehead-Bust’s testimony.