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District 4 Candidate Tay Anderson Q&A


Biographical information

Auontai (Tay) Anderson is the former student body president of Manual High School. He currently attends Metropolitan State University of Denver, studying political science.

When looking at the past four years, how would you describe DPS’ legacy?

DPS has been hacked by the “reform” movement. Essentially, outside interests have hijacked our district, implementing high stakes testing and a vast proliferation of charter schools, leaving some neighborhoods without a walkable neighborhood school.


What should be DPS’ top four priorities in the next four years?

Investing in a diverse teaching and support staff; transparency; accountability; and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.


Many families enjoy the ability to “choice” into a desired school. This benefit, however, comes at a price. Please describe some of the negative repercussions of the “choice” system and ways to mitigate those repercussions. 

Long transportation times, lack of accessibility and teachers aren’t unionized and credentialed the same way as neighborhood schools. I would put a walkable neighborhood school in every community.


A July 2017 report by the NAACP’s Task Force on Quality Education reiterated its call for a moratorium on new charters until there is accountability and transparency in their operations. What will you do in response to this, if elected?

I support the moratorium on charter schools.


What are the pros and cons of allowing people who do not have a formal teacher education to teach Denver’s students? For example those trained by the Teach for America program or the Relay Graduate School of Education. 

Most  participants of TFA and RGSE do not teach past five years. This leaves a lack of veteran teachers to mentor new teachers. Teachers that get credentialed have longevity and intend to teach as a career, not as a path to student loan forgiveness.


Who do you expect will be the three top funders to your campaign? Are there any organizations or individuals from which you will be declining contributions? Our three top donors are Susan Barnes-Gelt, Kayvan, and Jeannie Kaplan. We are not turning away individual contributions and we have received zero contributions from any organizations. We will not take any reform money.


On a grade of A to F, rate Superintendent Tom Boasberg’s performance over the last four years. D

What is your position on vouchers?

They have a racist past and should not be used.

What is your position on “choice?”  

If there were quality neighborhood schools in every neighborhood, there wouldn’t be the need to “choice” out of the neighborhood.

What is your position on enrollment zones?

I support enrollment zones.

What is your position on high-stakes testing?

Assessment should be multi-faceted and tests shouldn’t be the only tool for assessment.

What do you bring to the school board that is new?

I am not bought and paid for by corporations and I intend to put the school board back in the hands of teachers, parents and students with increased community involvement in decision-making.


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