VINE | Research & Data Hub

By enthusiastically embracing a dual role of being a vibrant hub for regional education data and a valuable resource for families, students, and the community, the Denver Journal of Education and Community (DJEC) will wholeheartedly address an important and much-needed aspect of information equity in the region as the VINE | research & Data Hub. This exciting endeavor reflects two key objectives: a) consolidating education data from the region in a central location and b) conducting research inspired by the context, existing data, and the collective voice of the community. At VINE, we are thrilled to present a research agenda that embodies the following four core values:


School data should represent a balanced focus on academic and behavioral data, without treating these as more important than other forms of data that may be valuable to a wide range of audiences (leading with families and children).


Useful information about schools should be reliable and accessible to a wide range of audiences, integrating qualitative (e.g., interviews, stories, etc.) and quantitative (e.g., state and district report) information to provide traditional and innovative data about schools to a wide range of families, educators, and young people.


Data should be presented in short-cycle and cumulative/longitudinal forms, representing the results of school improvement efforts and the unique and valuable contributions of schools and communities that serve diverse children well. This means that sources of information should represent schools as well as the families and communities served.


Data should not be used to embarrass, harass, penalize, or rank schools, districts, or educators. Instead, data should be a tool to support thoughtful decision-making by families while informing school and district innovation and improvement efforts.

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Education and Community (our nonprofit)

VINE is a program of the Education & Community, a nonprofit which was born in 2019 because the Denver Public Schools needed to hear from the communities they serve, which are made up of 70 percent students of color. The main purpose is to debunk the notion that Black and Latino kids need to be bussed into and integrated into predominantly White schools in order to receive a quality education. The basis for the integration theory is the decision in the 1954 case of Brown vs. Board of Education by the Supreme Court which addressed desegregation and school integration.
Antwan Jefferson, PhD

Antwan Jefferson, PhD

Board Member & Managing Director

Husband of a DPS principal. Father of two DPS-enrolled students. Former DPS teacher. Nearly 20-year Denver resident. Clinical Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Relations (HDFR) in the School of Education and Human Development at CU Denver. Founder of Denver Journal of Education and Community. DJEC Editor in Chief.

Dara Marin Prais, PhD

Research & Data Director

Dara Marin Prais has a Ph.D. in Educational Research, Evaluation, and Assessment, and brings with her a diverse teaching and educational background. She began her career in education as a classroom educator for over 10 years, teaching both K-12 special education and elementary general.

Spencer Childress, EdD

Spencer Childress, EdD

Co-Executive Director

Born in Colorado. Son of two educators. One brother named Christian. Currently serving as a high school guidance counselor in Aurora. Doctoral candidate studying educational equity in urban and diverse communities. Lover of books basketball and music.

Richard N Rhodes

Board Member & Director of Branding & Operations

Richard is the Chief Executive and Creative Officer of RNR Creative Enterprises, and Founder of The Collective Social Enterprises. He has more than 20 years of experience creating, developing, and implementing brands and integrated strategic communications to advance organizational identity.

The Denver Journal of Education & Community (The Data Issue)

DJEC is a community education journal focused on topics of education in the greater Denver area. By engaging in community discourse, and connecting this content to scholarship and policy, DJEC hopes to contribute to local education thinking by offering a balanced and well-informed perspective.

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2373 Central Park Blvd., Ste. 100
Denver, CO 80238

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VINE | Research & Data Hub

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