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One mom’s defence of the Jeffco school protests and walkouts

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I want to share my view of this past weeks student protests and why I allowed my daughter to participate. My daughter and I had a lot of discussion about what is going on in her school district.

I speak as a parent. The past two years I have been PTSA President of my daughters high school. The two years before that, I was the PTSA Vice President and the Accountability Chairperson of the same high school. I have spent a lot of time attending board meetings and budget meetings, and even in meetings with the former superintendent. I have met with parents and teachers. I have heard a lot of different view points. So, although I may not know everything, I think I have a basic understanding of some things.

I have issues with common core and AP US History (I have read the curriculum for it). I have issues with a new unproven superintendent getting massive compensation before he has even done anything. I have issues with the teachers union for allowing incompetent teachers to be moved around instead of being fired. Most teachers are awesome by the way. I have issues with a proposed curriculum review board, not because I am against reviewing curriculum, I think we should, but it should be done by a combination of educators and parents, and not for political reasons.

I was excited when a conservative board was voted in, as I am conservative. However, I have been very disappointed with this group. I am disappointed with the incivility and disregard that they have shown for their fellow board members, for the former superintendent, for parents, teachers and community members. Instead of trying to work with anyone, they are alienating everyone, including those of us who would have liked to support them.

The issues surrounding any school district are complicated, especially one as large and diverse as ours. We need to make sure that we address the needs of all children in our district and not just our own.

Which is why I am glad my daughter and her fellow students protested. It is their education at stake. Their protests have succeeded.

How do I know? Because, they have encouraged all of us to have this discussion and become better educated as to what is going on in our district.

Guest blogger Lisa is a mom of five and lives in Arvada. Photo: RJ Sangosti

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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Comments
  • comment avatar Haley September 29, 2014

    be afraid be very afraid-if this board is able to push through these Texas influenced changes to history teaching they will be emboldened to carry out even more radical changes to the schools,

  • comment avatar Terry September 29, 2014

    Students and parents see total disrespect and disregard for any one or anything that does not directly serve the Board majority’s agenda. The level of disdain is palpable. Mr. Newkirk actually told a group of parents by email last week to “chill”. But there is no official log of those emails because the leadership of the school district can’t even run the Board of education office, let alone the school district.

  • comment avatar Paula September 29, 2014

    When good teachers leave for other professions, there is much to mourn. The dreaded union had actually been working on a pay for performance system. For what it’s worth, my school got an excellent teacher from a “strategic compensation” school this year. He took a pay cut to change schools. At the strat. comp. school, he was so busy doing things to make adults believe he was good at his job that he felt he was directing all of his lesson plans toward adults rather than kids. He felt it impaired his ability to be a good teacher, even though his evaluations said he was so good he should be getting top dollar.

    Teachers are often less motivated by money than by their ability to serve their students. I am far less motivated by money than by having a sense of meaningful service and being able to collaborate rather than compete with my colleagues to meet this end. Those who are leaving the profession are not leaving for money. They are leaving because the board is ignoring teachers’ voices in all matters.

    Also , when the ability of students to take college-prepatory classes is in jeopardy because of ideology, they are penalized, not enlightened. So yes, mourning. Really.

  • comment avatar Sarah September 29, 2014

    The students are angry about how Jeffco schools are being run. They write letters to the Board and they never even get an acknowledgement, let a lone an answer. This Board is disrespectful of all who disagree with them. Have you actually attended a Board meeting with Mr. Witt presiding. Check out the video on Transparency Jeffco. Quite enlightening. Mr. Witt is a bully. We wouldn’t tolerate his behavior in a classroom. People are fed up with it.

  • comment avatar Sandy September 29, 2014

    Here is a short list of the waste and abuse of the Board majority.

    Hired Brad Miller as Board attorney $7,500 a month, paid by taxes (he represents the Board, not the school district) without a contract, without public comment and without consulting the Board Minority).

    Hired Mr. McMinimee for $240K base salary, plus bonus (have not said what the bonus is based on). Did a national search, approx. $60K and he lives in Jeffco and was #2 in DougCo public schools.

    Gave $450K loan to Collegiate Academy who then used some of the money to offer free full-day Kindergarten and attract students away from our public schools. They have 51 students enrolled.

    Voted against expanding free full-day Kindergarten $600K to more schools with high percentages of free and reduced lunch students. Did not come up with another way to support free lunch students when they didn’t like the way the program is currently implemented.

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