Brian Watson Inserting Himself Into Jefferson County Education Policy, For Some Reason

You may recall the case of Republican Brian Watson, whose apparent failure to pay his taxes led to his defeat in a bid for the state legislature (HD-3) in 2012 and is now dragging on Rep. Mike Coffman's re-election bid in CD-6.

Brian Watson

Brian Watson hates him some facts

Watson lives in Greenwood Village, which is in Arapahoe County, but has apparently decided that Jefferson County needs his help to fix education problems that don't really exist — at least not in the manner in which he explains. Watson hosted a fundraiser at his home last night for a group called "Jeffco Students First," which is sort of a euphemism for "Vouchers for Jeffco Students First." The full invitation is after the jump, but here's the part that really jumped out at us:

Patricia and I are pleased to invite you to our home for a discussion about public education in Jefferson County where nearly 40% of students either don't graduate on time or are not prepared for college when they graduate.

This could be a laudable goal — if it had anything to do with, you know, facts and stuff. According to the Colorado Department of Education, Jefferson County's 2012 graduation rate was 81.4%, higher than the state average of 75.4%. Jefferson County graduation rates are also trending upward (79.1% in 2011 and 78.1% in 2010); it's worth noting that Jefferson County is also the largest school district in the state.

Well, what about dropout rates? Jefferson County's dropout rate in 2011-12 was 2%, which is the exact same as the Cherry Creek 5 School District surrounding Watson's home residence.

But what about the "Remediation Rate," or college readiness statistics? Maybe that explains Watson's figures? In a way, it does, since the new STATEWIDE report from the CDE shows a Remediation Rate of 40% (an increase in recent years attributed to a change in the way the CDE calculates these figures). Those numbers are not broken out by county, as far as we can tell, so there's no apparent way that Watson or anyone else could calculate that "nearly 40% of students either don't graduate on time or are not prepared for college when they graduate" from Jefferson County schools.

Maybe Watson mean to say that 40% of all Colorado students are not prepared for college, which would be accurate but irrelevant to a fundraiser for working on policy in Jefferson County Schools. Whatever Watson meant to do, perhaps he should just do it somewhere else — like, near where he actually lives, for starters.

I believe a great public education system assures the future of our Republic; too many students in Colorado are not provided the opportunity to achieve at levels that make them career and college ready so they can start companies, create opportunity, file patents, lead people, and protect our Freedoms.

Patricia and I are pleased to invite you to our home for a discussion about public education in Jefferson County where nearly 40% of students either don't graduate on time or are not prepared for college when they graduateWe hope you are able to join us, as we raise funds for Jeffco Students First, a 501(c)3 working to improve achievement, accountability and transparency in Jefferson County public schools. We look forward to seeing you at this special event!









We will be joined by Jeffco Students First Executive Director Sheila Atwell

for a brief discussion on what strategies work to improve public education.









Host Committee: 

Pete Coors • Robert Blackwell • Lynn Johnson • J. Christopher and Serri Robbins

John Newkirk • Les Burch • Terry Considine • Patricia and Brian Watson 

 Steve Schuck • Alex Cranberg









Wednesday, June 26, 2013

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

 Attire: Casual

Minimum Donation: $50 per person is requested


At the Home of Patricia and Brian Watson

[ADDRESS REDACTED VIA POLS], Greenwood Village, CO 80121










Kindly RSVP to Please make checks payable to: JeffCo Students First.
















Thank you for your time and support,
















Brian Watson

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    Mr. Watson needs an educaiton in the facts. First of all, the actual percentage of those students who attend Colorado universities and colleges who need remedial course work is 28%, still too high, but certainly not 40%.  The 28% represents the actual percentage of students who took remedial course work at our institutions of higher learning.

    Those listed as members of the host committee represent the same old conservatives (They're not Republicans) whose primary goal is to tear down our existing public institutions based on the unfounded view that public institutions are to blame for everything thats wrong in society. Vouchers are not a panacea that can correct the woes of broken homes, economically disadvantaged students and the other problems that hinder a student's ability to learn.

  2. MADCO says:


    CoPols to the Penalty Box!  When this guy – or any other as*ha*t sets his sights on some foregin land, I say leave him alone.   No one wants him focusing on Arapahoe County.

  3. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    I held a fund raiser for Sal Pace at my house in Boulder and no one thought that was out of line. Why is this?

    as to the 40%, why not ask him as it could be accurate based on the numbers that were listed by Pols.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    It's just the usual conservative path to fundraising and fame by disparaging public schools and teachers, particularly teacher's unions. Jeffco teacher's union is pretty strong. The more Mr. Watson can position himself as "standing up to the unions", the better he will look to the conservative base.

  5. RunningOnEmpty says:

    Regarding the so-called 40 percent remediation rate: that only includes those students who attend Colorado colleges or universities.  Colorado students who go on to attend college out of state are not counted in the remediation rate.  It's well worth noting that many of those students probably do not require remediation because they're more likely to have won scholarships or their families have enough money to afford out-of-state or private tuition.  In the case of the latter, the correlation between higher-income districts and remediation rates is quite clear.  If we collected data about remediation rates among all of our high school graduates now in college in Colorado and elsewhere, the remediation rate would be lower.

    It might also be worth noting that their featured speaker would probably require remediation in math herself.  Her math rarely adds up.

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