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Old July 7th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #1
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The Disturbing Forces Behind a School "Reform"

The Disturbing Forces Behind a School "Reform" Fight in Colorado

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. . .

But the target of their ire now is the new conservative school board majority, elected in 2013. In that election, a slate of three candidates — Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie William s— ran together and branded themselves "WNW." The three candidates got the backing of the Jefferson County GOP and an organization called Jeffco Students First, a state-based education advocacy group patterned after the controversial national organization StudentsFirst (founded and formerly led by Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools). StudentsFirst and its Colorado state version promote an "education reform" agenda that favors charter schools, vouchers, grading schools and educators based on student test scores, and drastically altering teacher compensation, performance evaluation, and job protection.

WNW "came out of nowhere," according to Levine. The Jeffco Republican Party lauded the three candidates for their business experience – Witt's in information technology, Newkirk's in engineering, and Williams as an office manager of an orthodontics clinic. Williams has ties to the Republican Party that run particularly deep. According to the Denver Post, she is related by marriage to the influential Neville family, who the article describes as, "A Colorado political family deeply connected to the state's most strident gun-rights group."

With strong financial backing, the three took advantage of a statewide conservative wave and an unpopular ballot amendment to handily win.

Once WNW took office, they worked in unison to advance their reform agenda, which is generally opposed by the two remaining Jeffco board members, 2nd vice president Lesley Dahlkemper of District 4 and District 3 representative Jill Fellman, whose terms don't end until 2015.

Fritzler's and Levine's concerns with WNW led them to start Support Jeffco Kids. In school board meetings and on social media, they openly question board actions and hector the decision-making process and personal conduct of the three conservatives.

In separate discussions, each complains that the WNW trio ignores public opinion. As proof, they point to a community survey conducted in 2014 showing strong majorities of Jeffco citizens favoring smaller class sizes, full-day kindergarten, higher teacher salaries, and continued funding of school electives such as art and music. Yet the new board majority made numerous decisions to direct money to other efforts, including a $400,000 emergency loan to a charter school, a $280,000 salary for the new superintendent ($70,000 more than the previous superintendent), a newly created board attorney position without any explanation of the need for the attorney, and a decision to send $3.7 million more in "mill levy" funds to charter schools — funds Fitzler and Levine worked to enact and voters approved before the new majority was elected.

Additionally, the board majority voted to withhold $600,000 in funds for full-day kindergarten, despite the fact that, as a reporter for local news outlet Chalkbeat Colorado points out, "In neighboring Denver Public Schools, local data on the impact of full-day kindergarten show that full-day students do better in reading than their half-day peers… 57 percent of Denver's kindergarteners who attended full-day programs between 2001-02 and 2008-9 scored proficient or advanced on third-grade reading tests, compared to 51 percent of half-day kindergarteners."

. . .
Cleaning up local politics is something which really must be done. We each need to be more involved with our local government. They are trying to turn the laws into their own regime.
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Old July 7th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #2
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"School Reform" means that teaching about poor, black, gay people is far more important than anything else.
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Old July 8th, 2015, 01:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pensacola_niceman View Post
"School Reform" means that teaching about poor, black, gay people is far more important than anything else.
Not according to the article. According to the article, it's about making millions and not giving out an education.
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Old November 27th, 2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by LongWinded View Post
Not according to the article. According to the article, it's about making millions and not giving out an education.
I presume that "making millions" refers to the evil nature of profits in the providing of public education? Wouldn't it be more constructive to consider the "wasting billions" that occurs in the current model?

Imagine for a moment a different system of government nutritional assistance to those beneficiaries of EBT cards (food stamps). What if, instead of the current system of directly reloading funds to a person's EBT card, this system was scrapped entirely?

In its place, imagine that it was decided that the best way for government to support the vital nutritional needs of these beneficiaries would be to construct public cafeterias in every town or city nationwide. Bigger cities would need several, so that each beneficiary could be assigned to their neighborhood cafeteria. Every day, every beneficiary would travel to the cafeteria to receive prepared meals that would meet the government’s accepted nutrition standards. The meals would be cooked by certified government cooks, served by government servers, dishes washed in vast government dishwashing machines and stacked by government employees in preparation for the next meal. Every community would elect a Board of Nutrition with funding requirements of their own. Each state would establish bureaucracies to administer the menu decisions, acquisition of raw groceries, and oversight of food preparation and distribution. Dish, glass, table and chair breakage, loss and renewal would simply be priced in as necessary, unavoidable costs of government nutritional support. The cafeteria building would need a permanent staff of janitors, custodians, sanitation inspectors, pest control technicians and other forms of building and organizational maintenance support. Periodically, the entire facility itself would need to be replaced, and a whole new upgraded cafeteria facility would need to be constructed. Taxpayers would then be asked to vote for nutrition bonds...for the children!

You get the point. Is there anyone reading this proposition who would argue that this new system would be less costly than simply reloading the beneficiaries' EBT cards every month and empowering them to shop for themselves?

Granted, those current EBT card holders make their own nutritional decisions when they go to the grocery store to purchase their own food. Some of those decisions are questionable, and less than the best nutritional choices. Yet, on balance, the current EBT system is efficient, and far less costly than the proposed change above. Most importantly, the EBT card system empowers every cardholder with the ability (and duty) to become a stakeholder in their family's nutritional decision-making, with far more dignity than having government force-feed the family whatever a bureaucrat has decided they must eat.

And yet, when these beneficiaries go to Raley's or Safeway or Wal-Mart to purchase groceries for their family, the store makes a profit on every item purchased. Does that make the EBT Card system wasteful or immoral compared to the government cafeteria model outlined above?
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Old November 27th, 2016, 10:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LongWinded View Post
The Disturbing Forces Behind a School "Reform" Fight in Colorado



Cleaning up local politics is something which really must be done. We each need to be more involved with our local government. They are trying to turn the laws into their own regime.
Dump Common Core, problem solved.
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Old November 27th, 2016, 10:37 AM   #6
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Dump Common Core, problem solved.
Common Core was a Bush initiative originally, supported by a Republican Congress.

Charter schools underperform their public counterparts in every state they are currently open.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...6zH0Q0sMpKhtiA

If you want to send your kids to a private charter school. You pay for it.

Not one dime of my tax dollars are to ever be used to finance one.

Since these schools are supported by the billionaires that propose them, they can put their money where their mouths are to pay for them.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...C-9DU2i-LIItXg

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...fACRQQikwgBJxg
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Old November 27th, 2016, 10:43 AM   #7
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Dump Common Core, problem solved.

What do you know about Common Core, Sister??
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Old November 27th, 2016, 11:46 PM   #8
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I have heard of this community, but I would cringe if I lived there everytime I heard 'Jeffco'. Cant say "Jefferson County"? Jeffco sounds so hillbilly. Jeffco!

Public schools should be scrapped altogether and made into private schools, many which would be affordable to the masses. If you do not want your kid to go to school, you dont have to because my government couldnt care less, and the parents with the good kids can go to school and not worry about your dumb kid who would rather smoke a bowl and watch Dr. Phil than William Shakespeare and I dont blame them a bit.

Do away with band and sports teams. Why should someone get a scholarship for playing the tuba? No one in real life plays a tuba, and drunk people will try to pour beer into it to see what would happen (what would happen, need to consult YouTube).

Private schools are cheaper than public schools and provide a much better education. For all the taxes on legal dope in Colorado, there should be loads of money coming into the school system, wasnt this a reason to legalize in the first place? If your state is in arrears while hashish is legal and taxable, the people in charge are either morons or felons. Corporal punishment must also return. The beatings would continue until morale improves.

No more "No child left behind." Some kids get left behind, because their behind is bigger than their cerebral cortex. Some kids will steal your last smoke or set your cat ablaze. Jeffco!
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Old November 28th, 2016, 01:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pensacola_niceman View Post
"School Reform" means that teaching about poor, black, gay people is far more important than anything else.
Quite right. Teaching them something where they will remain gainfully employed will turn them into Republicans.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 03:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by senor boogie woogie View Post
I have heard of this community, but I would cringe if I lived there everytime I heard 'Jeffco'. Cant say "Jefferson County"? Jeffco sounds so hillbilly. Jeffco!

Public schools should be scrapped altogether and made into private schools, many which would be affordable to the masses. If you do not want your kid to go to school, you dont have to because my government couldnt care less, and the parents with the good kids can go to school and not worry about your dumb kid who would rather smoke a bowl and watch Dr. Phil than William Shakespeare and I dont blame them a bit.

Do away with band and sports teams. Why should someone get a scholarship for playing the tuba? No one in real life plays a tuba, and drunk people will try to pour beer into it to see what would happen (what would happen, need to consult YouTube).

Private schools are cheaper than public schools and provide a much better education. For all the taxes on legal dope in Colorado, there should be loads of money coming into the school system, wasnt this a reason to legalize in the first place? If your state is in arrears while hashish is legal and taxable, the people in charge are either morons or felons. Corporal punishment must also return. The beatings would continue until morale improves.

No more "No child left behind." Some kids get left behind, because their behind is bigger than their cerebral cortex. Some kids will steal your last smoke or set your cat ablaze. Jeffco!
Scrapping public education in favor of private education misses the point. You can have an efficient, robust, successful public education system without public schools. All you need in a little imagination!

https://patrickjmcnamara.wordpress.com/
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