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February 19, 2011 12:14 AM UTC

Diane Ravitch and the shadowy group of 500 attendees last night

  • 186 Comments
  • by: DefenseDenver

This needs no additional commentary from us.  Please watch (there will be more from last night’s event very soon).

Comments

186 thoughts on “Diane Ravitch and the shadowy group of 500 attendees last night

    1. You probably have legal remedies.

      We’re sorry it’s been rough for you lately.  We know what it feels like to be attacked on the blogs.  We empathize with you.

      1. So do you support these tactics or not?

        Yes or no works pretty well here.

        I wasn’t attacked on a blog. Perhaps you’re confused about where Guerin writes or what he writes. Then again, you probably aren’t the only one.

        You’ll forgive me if I lack sympathy for an organization that thrives on the lack of transparency that you and yours do.  

        1. Do you really care about our opinion about Green’s actions, or have you already indicted us?

          We didn’t ask for that sort of attention on you.  We don’t condone the sort of bullying we receive all the time, not just from the Denver Post, but from people like you.  We really are sorry you were hurt and were the recipient of some bullying too.  

          So now we have questions for you.  When you wrote your piece, did you ever reach out to any of the minority board members?  You made some very thinly veiled accusations about them.  If  not, why not?  Did they just not answer the phone?  Who told you to contact DPS staff?  Why did you see fit to go that deep into the district and still not talk to DeFENSE or to the minority board members directly?

          Just watch the video already.  

            1. “The Chief of Staff who was also at the lunch confirmed the conversation.”

              Is that a misread on our part?  We take that to mean that you spoke to the Chief of Staff.

              It’s in your “morally reprehensible” piece.

              1. by another source, other than Nate Easley. And no, I won’t reveal my source. Why don’t you get Guerin to start tracking that one down? Maybe he can spend a few days trying to out that person, too.  

                1. that “confirmation” wasn’t real either? You didn’t actually talk to the the Chief of Staff? You were just repeating hearsay? You certainly seemed to be trying to pass that line of as if you had done some sort of almost-kinda-sorta journalism there.

                  And, let’s see, what was it that was supposedly being  “confirmed” by your hearsay “journalism”? It was the “quote” you “reported” that had three people speaking in unison. Tell me, were the three of them harmonizing when they spoke the quote?

                  Here’s that part again:

                  They told him, “We don’t like the way you’ve been voting. And if you vote for the Montbello turnaround plan, we’re gonna recall you.”

                  Easley told them, “Well, you do what you need to do and I’ll vote the way I need to vote.”

                  The Chief of Staff who was also at the lunch confirmed the conversation.

                  So if you didn’t actually talk to the chief of staff, who is your source for this claim that the chief of staff “confirmed the conversation”? … Let me guess, is the “source” Nate Easley?

                  Man, this is even lamer than it seemed the first time around.

                  1. I don’t know MotR personally, so I don’t know the details, but all she’s said so far is that she wasn’t at the lunch, not that she didn’t verify the conversation with the CoS.

                    Assumptions lead to… well, you know, less eloquent and knowledgeable voyageur.

                    Just interesting.

            1. She gets no quarter from us.  If she, or you, want to have an honest debate about the merits of education policy or about what’s happening in DPS that inspires our action, then we’re ready.

              If, on the other hand, you want something more than our empathy for her feeling attacked, then we’ll disappoint you right now.

              She’s a big girl.

              1. I’m asking you if you support the tactics used by Guerin Lee Green against me and against LB. You know, the voicemail he left threatening to get LB fired if he didn’t shut up about your organization.

                And you’ve answered. Thank you. I know there are loads of people out there that will find your answer super interesting.

                Do let us know when you get around to filing with the Secretary of State and start filing financial reports for your donations and sales of Andrea’s merchandise.  

                1. You’ll get none.  

                  We still feel bad for you and the shock you must have felt in being targeted like that, regardless.

                  We still want answers on our questions, so here’s a re-paste for your answering ease:

                  When you wrote your piece, did you ever reach out to any of the minority board members?  You made some very thinly veiled accusations about them.  If  not, why not?  Did they just not answer the phone?  Who told you to contact DPS staff?  Why did you see fit to go that deep into the district and still not talk to DeFENSE or to the minority board members directly?

                  Come on now.  Where’s the transparency?

                  1. I still want answers on my questions, so here’s a re-paste for your answering ease:

                    Who is the “we” you spoke about that would have called me back?

                    Who writes the material for DeFENSE?

                    Why haven’t you filed your organization with the Secretary of State’s office?

                    Where is your filing of your financial contributions to your organization?

                    I still want answers to my questions.  

                    1. An organizer would call you back.

                      Many people write the material.  Some of it is even attributed.  Go back and read for yourself.

                      We don’t have to file anything because we’re not incorporated.

                      It’s hard keeping up.

                    2. Not “the organization” or “the collective,” but what is the name of the person or persons who write what I’m replying to?

                      You haven’t disclosed this for some reason. Would you object if I called your web hosting service provider claiming to be the FBI and got this information from them?

                    3. We share responsibilities for writing posts that aren’t submitted by someone.  We attribute all the submissions.

                      It’s sorta like CoPols.

                      How does the web service provider know who writes the posts?

                    4. I don’t have this “community newspaper investigative journalism” thing down yet. Maybe I’d randomly dial numbers in the 303 area code hoping to get someone with some juicy dirt by offering them free Farmville cash.

                      That’s not the point. The point is, would you be unhappy if this sort of outing of private information were done to you?

              2. got your email password, and posted messages detailing this or that strategy session or credit card transaction, you’d be cool with that since the same type of fraud was used to discover MotR’s identity? Or, no, maybe you’d be a little pissed off?

                And I don’t want to hear the “all our stuff is public” nonsense; even a grassroots organization has leaders with strategies, especially when they design a web site before they’ve ever held a public meeting. You have secrets, and a lot of people here would come to your defense if those were exposed through fraud. If you want respect here, you should do the same when it happens to someone else.

                Someone needs to talk with your outreach coordinator about how to make friends on this blog. When 95% of the active users denounce something illegal, you do it too. Put some distance between yourself and Green as your first step to persuading anyone here of anything.

                1. Are you now accusing us of identity theft?

                  How does having leadership or strategies make things not public?  Having a little trouble with your line of reasoning here.  

                  But we like you, because you’ve said on S2 that you’re a teacher.  At least we think it’s you over there.

                  1. because I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying you probably don’t condone what Green did, since you’re probably not a bunch of assholes.

                    I just think maybe everyone would be a little nicer to the plural you if you did this one easy little thing.

                    And the “outreach coordinator” thing was a joke, I make jokes sometimes, that’s what I do.

            1. Did you answer him?  Should we get the responses from him?

              You can save us the trouble by answering here, transparently, for all to read.

              Maybe this is all just a misunderstanding.

              1. What part? The part where you won’t attribute any of the writing on your website, or file with the SoS, or reveal the financial contributions to your organization, or…and the list goes on.

                And let’s be clear–Guerin Lee Green isn’t known for being a reputable journalist. So why would anyone, including me, agree to talk with him?

                Your lack of transparency, your lack of ethics, your lacks of moral is breathtaking.  

                1. You write a hit piece on board members that are not involved with the recall, criticize us about not reporting something that we can’t report anyway, while you comment on this post to lick your own wounds …and you want to talk about morals?  You purposely evade due diligence and don’t reach out to us or to the minority board members and somehow you’re more ethical?

                  This is about a community rising up to take back our schools.  There were 500 people in that room last night that agreed that the hostile takeovers have to stop.

                  Here’s another question.  What’s in it for you to be a cheerleader for Mr. Rubberstamp?  Did he pay you?  

                  At which point are you going to start addressing the schools?  Or is this just about you?

                  1. I’m asking you questions. Do try and keep up. You must be joking with that one.

                    I’ve asked you the same questions since the first time I ever posted about you and I will continue to keep asking them. Guerin’s attempt to intimidate me into silence didn’t work. In fact, massive fail.

                    The rest of your comment is more of the same from you. But I’ll try and help you out here.

                    No, not being paid by anyone. I’ll assume that question was a joke because the notion is ridiculous.

                    Have been addressing school issues for quite some time, in my own little neck of the woods. Now that you know my name, you can do your own homework and google all about it.

                    I don’t know who Mr. Rubberstamp is. Perhaps if you would like to behave like a grownup and use people’s names instead of Glenn Beck like nicknames, I can answer that one more thoroughly.

                    This isn’t about me. It’s about a shady organization that seems to be coordinating with others to recall someone in order to have a majority on the board for the next 18 months. It’s called a power grab. And from the amount of people that are now speaking out about it, like they did last night at the board meeting, I think it’s safe to say that opposition to your tactics is rapidly going viral.

                    Now, see how easy that was? Feel free to answer my questions with the same forthrightness.  

                    1. Not “shady.”

                      And yes, people who are tired of hostile takeover of schools and disenfranchisement of kids are looking to take back power.

                      You got us!

                    2. Not “shady.”

                      And yes, people who are tired of hostile takeover of schools and disenfranchisement of kids are looking to take back power.

                      You got us!

                  2. Here’s another question.  What’s in it for you to be a cheerleader for Mr. Rubberstamp?  Did he pay you?  

                    I’m sorry (for you) your guy lost.  Move on.  

                    When I type, I use the first person because only my hands fit on the keyboard.  Do at least two of you type your replies at once?  Otherwise I’m a bit confused.  By ‘we’ do you mean the 500?  Do you mean the handful in Wade’s redundant clips?  Is it you and your imaginary friend?  

          1. how would I have called DeFENSE and “talked to them” when you don’t have a contact number on your website? (Well, Andrea’s was removed so…)

            Why would I need to talk to the minority board members when they have all claimed they are not involved with the recall?

            What could they possibly add to the diary I wrote that was about two things: your organization and the lack of public outrage from a fellow board member (Andrea Merida) that had just been through her own recall attempt?

              1. Because we’re all dying to give DeFENSE our contact information considering your utter lack of transparency and Guerin Lee Green’s tactics.

                Yes, absolutely. Everybody, quick! Sign up and give out your personal info and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a quote and maybe even a $2.50 button as a bonus, if you ACT NOW!

            1. and that doesn’t satisfy you, you’re not going to include that in your piece.

              What you just said is, “why bother being fair, since it doesn’t fit my  scenario.”

  1. a group of parents who speak with principle about the importance of education, and in  supporting teacher’s unions (both of which I applaud, personally) and a few irrational  bloggers who have made your group look bad on the internet. I would personally LOVE to see more and hear more of the stand your group is taking on education, rather than reading about the character assassination of school board members and other individuals.

    I think you’ll find there are a lot of us who are adamently pro-union and pro-education who would listen if the message wasn’t personal.

    I do understand the anger and frustration toward people who don’t understand how important education is as an investment, as evidenced by my own ranting against the Governor’s proposed budget cuts today. I get it. A lot of us get it.  

    1. It really isn’t personal at all.  You have to understand that there were 5 years of Bennie Milliner apathy, then 8 years of Kevin Patterson’s repeated checking-out, now another year of the same behavior.  

      When the community voted for Nate Easley, neighborhood schools, support for teachers, and all the things you applaud, won.

      The people that want to create more Manual-styled hostile takeovers are paying Easley’s salary.  If he could have shown even a smidgen of independence from that pressure by voting against the Superintendent and FOR his district even ONCE, we would not be able to call out a conflict of interest.  

      But he has rubberstamped over and over.  AFter now (at least!) 14 years of the same neglect and tone-deafness to community, it has to stop.

      Does he have to do exactly what the community wants, 100% of the time?  No.  But he should be performing basic due diligence in following up when there’s an outcry.  He has shown that the elites have him boxed in.  He has accepted subservience to the powerful and not to the community that voted him in.

      Enough is enough.  Our kids and communities can’t wait anymore.

      1. I don’t even live in Denver, so I have no horse in this race. I do watch it from afar, however, because a lot of the Senate primary was enmeshed in the DPS stuff.

        I support unions. I support teachers. I support local schools, but I also don’t think charter schools are the monster-evil-horror-tragedy folks like Merida do. As far as I know, a charter can dictate that licensed teachers have to be hired. If that is not the issue, what is?

        DD — I care about the issues underlying the  movement. I just think angry, irrational people (you know who they are) that threaten people on the internet or on the telephone, do not help the movement. I think that’s what a lot of Pols readers are trying to say.

        You see that, don’t you?  

        1. If you knew your kid’s school was struggling, would you be ok if the district made the executive decision to close it and put in a charter, regardless of its reputation, without first talking to you and/or the teachers and community?

          And what if the charter is funded by corporate-backed foundations and whose entry in the district has a big expensive marketing campaign behind it?

          That’s at the core here.

          1. but I still think you should just post a little teensy-weensy comment somewhere that says, “We as an organization do not condone the use of threats or fraud against our opponents.” Is that a controversial thing to write?  

              1. were bullied.

                Threats of outing, threats of intimation to shut someone up, threats of getting someone fired don’t quite equal your little feelings getting hurt by a diary that asked basic questions about your organization and the tactics and coordination you are engaged in.

                And you know it. And so does everyone reading this.

                And don’t be sorry. Because you aren’t. It’s disingenuous to suggest you care what happens to anyone who gets in your way.  

                1. Let’s talk about your fixation on the politics of education in Denver but not on the aftereffects on kids.

                  Let’s talk about how much you’ve badgered us, over and over, simply because the way we’ve banded together doesn’t fit your fixation on politics.

                  Let’s talk about you being more interested in being in the know than in knowing whether kids are being hurt or teachers are being scapegoated because of failed policies.

                  Let’s talk about kids having to catch the RTD at ungodly hours to go to school because the one in their neighborhood was closed.

                  You have an axe to grind against anyone that doesn’t vote like you or support school models you do (we assume, because not once have you spoken in support of teachers or neighborhood schools), to the point that being objective or fair doesn’t creep into your posts.

                  You had your chance to have an honest discussion about education policy, but you decided to flex your political muscle instead.  Sorry, we’re going to focus on more important things now.  You didn’t want to accept our empathy, so that’s that.  

                    1. What exactly is your take on education policy?  If we read you wrong after your having clarified, we can admit it.

                      Were you paid to write that piece?  Or are you just fixated with insider politics, regardless of how policy actually affects people?

                    2. I only deal with honest brokers and you aren’t one so I won’t waste my time answering your questions when you refuse to answer mine.  

                    3. Where can we find the reporting that show you were paid to write that hit piece?  Where’s the paper trail and canceled checks?  Why haven’t you filed?

                      Why won’t you answer our questions?  Why are you being so unethical and shady and dishonest?

                    4. Unfortunately for you, you already admitted that you’re keeping records. And by other admissions it’s clear that you are way over the Denver filing limits.

                      PUT THE SHOVEL DOWN

                    5. We want to see the reporting of the money MOTR’s received for writing the hit piece.  We want cancelled checks, notarized reports, campaign finance reports from Easley’s recall defense account, etc.

                    6. you’re just being stupid.

                      Do you really think you’re building trust? Helping your cause in any way whatsoever?

                      Did you miss that half the people on this blog that “bully” you agree with your cause? You’re wasting a huge resource here by being a fucking moron.

                      Seriously, dumbass, put the shovel down. It’s good advice.

                    7. that you are in the least bit sympathetic to the plight of the kids in DPS regarding the aftermath of hostile takeover of schools.

                      Now…where did MOTR ever state that she agrees with our cause?

                    8. What does MotR have to do with your cause or your dishonesty?

                      Like my three year old niece was told recently after tattling, “You just worry about yourself.”

                    9. and are expressing their honest opinions about tactics.  Those are entirely fair.

                      We can have adult conversations with people like them.

                    10. I’m really asking.

                      Instead you posted a diary, linking yourself to a political fundraiser, making some kind of stupid joke about your reputation on the site.

                      There’s something wrong with you.

                    11. And you’re right, they’re nice and substantial.  But the other 95 are all about you and your tactics.

                      Feel better?

                    12. I notice that virtually none of the comments on this (now getting long) post are actually responding, in any way, to Ravitch’s comments.  Instead of talking about education, we’re talking about DefenseDenver’s tactics.  Way to advocate for your cause, DD.

                    13. You refuse to answer reasonable questions about who’s in your organization, leading it, funding it.  

                      More bizarrely, you seem incredibly fixated on MOTR, and to have a real chip on your shoulder(s) (single, collective, Cylon, I don’t care) about her.  She might be nice but you wouldn’t know because she never reached out to you?  You sound like my daughter when she doesn’t get an invite to someone’s house for playing.  

                    14. !.  We pass the hat for immediate expenses, like renting a meeting room or coffee and such.

                      2.  There is no “leader” other than the organizers themselves.  It’s intentionally a flat structure.

                      3.  There are no funders in the traditional, nonprofit sense, because we’re not a nonprofit, nor do we claim to be.

                      It’s gotten lost in the barrage of bullying and badgering about this topic over and over.  It’s ok.

                    15. 1. Those are donations.

                      2. Organizers are people. At worst you just admitted that you purposely stay hidden. But your intentions are good, so it’s OK!

                      3. Not on non-profits have funders and are required to fulfill certain requirements by law.

                      Super simple without a bullying tactic. You’re welcome.

                    16. …for, say, a bridge club, a donation?  Is that the same thing.

                      Here’s a question.  Do you agree with our stance on things like, the Montbello hostile takeover?

                    17. I read all the previous diaries, read your disingenuous answers before, and agreed with the previous criticisms of your disingenuous answers (as admirably summed up by droll immediately below).

                      But hey, you just keep right on focusing this discussion on you.  Whomever you are.

                    18. DD has been the least “whiny” person on ColoPols in ages — certainly less whiny than you’re being right now, Poindexter. Why don’t you shut up and keep out of it?  What is it with you schoolyard bully types? When you see six or eight of your fellows bullies ganging up on someone, that’s when you get all “courageous” and jump on the pile.

                    19. who should be lecturing anyone on bullying. “Why don’t you shut up and keep out of it?” Very professional, and I think I have a new sig line.

                    20. Not only is MOTR’s long comment history here show that she’s a private citizen, but so did Guerin Green’s vile little “exposГ©.” So these questions represent nothing more than deflection.

                  1. followed by paragraphs regarding why you don’t like MOTR.  

                    Yeah, that’s what’s important.  Such is why you ‘all’ make few friends here, even though many folks might agree with some of your ideas re: education.  

                    1. …in person.  We wouldn’t know.  She never reached out to us to get our side of the issues.

                    2. There were 500 in attendance last night

                      There are around 50-100 people out collecting signatures any given day.

                      There are more than 500 people on our newsletter list.

                      Each have varying degrees of participation.  We don’t have members, but we have a core group of organizers that fluctuate in numbers, depending on the issue we’re tackling.

                    3. Every snarky non-answer? Every bullying whine? Every legal opinion? Every flat out wrong opinion that completely disregards what was actually said?

                      Seriously? All 500?

                      It’s still a simple question. If you aren’t going to answer it, don’t.

                      And stop calling your group a registered 527. You can’t be the same group. That makes what you’re doing here even more illegal.

                    4. As an answer to who you are. The event was hosted by FOE, someone you just identified as a duly registered 527.

                      I already asked this question and you replied. Why keep claiming you’re FOE?

                    5. So when you say that MotR never tried to contact any of “us,” you mean that he/she never tried to any one of the 500+ folks you just deluded (sic) to?  How do you know?

                      That’s alot of people — did you all sit down together and then poll everyone of those 500+ folks?

                      And is it all of the 500+ of you “us”-es who agree that MotR and LB aren’t due an apology?

                      Liberal progressive, union supporter, kids in public schools as well as Colorado colleges, absolutely interested in how public schools could be doing better for our students and the citizens of Colorado, and yet I have no interest at all in even minimally supporting anything you (the collective or personal — at this point it really doesn’t matter) are involved with.  You ask for the public’s trust, you need the public’s trust, but you simply are not to be trusted.

                      I proedict the longer this thing goes on that a rapidly diminishing fewer and fewer folks will have the stomach for your ilk, or their tactics.  The classes that you folks — that “core group of organizers that flucuate in numbers depending on the issue [you’re] tackling — should most be interested in right now come from Dale Carnegie.  You’re without question the worst group at garnering support, influence, or even basic respect, that I’ve seen involved in either politics or education.  (And, I’m fairly well convinced at this point that education is not something you’re involved with.)

                      One final question, where’ ssa-man tonight?  Or, did the collective assign you the sole function of alienating another bunch of readers all by yourself this evening?

                    6. this would really be a good place to post your link for Paypal donations to FOE . . . you know, like on that other site.

                      I’ll bet there’s a ton of folks here that want to be clicking the hell out of that link right now.

          2. Do you agree with the character-assassination tactics that have been used against your critics?

            Easy question.  Yes-or-no answer.  No need to work with hypotheticals.  Just answer the freakin’ question.

          3. Who outside teachers and PTO parents at one school would understand those references. I for one, do not. Is this about Manuel High School?

            I think a good place to start would be a very calm blog diary explaining what happened at Manuel (if it is Manuel) with just the facts, not the interpretation. Then an interpretation from various points of view, leaving the readers free to understand why this was so emotional. The story most of us heard or read was, “School was not performing. Budget was tight. School closed. Community very angry at Superintendant. Superintendant says, “Sorry — had to do it.” School reopened. School performance improved.”

            If that was not the whole story, someone calm and rational (not Merida or Green, for example) should tell it on Pols. Let us know what you know. What corporation are you talking about? What foundation? What marketing campaign? How do you know? Where is the evidence?

            I am not trying to say you are wrong, DD. I am trying to explain that people who blog here are from all over the state. Very few know the story you are referring to, so the extreme emotional outbursts by some bloggers on the DD side have left some of us befuddled and confused.

            A related question, please, if there is transparency in the group D.D. why don’t you use your name? I would understand if you are a DPS teacher afraid to lose his/her job. If that is the case, please say so.

            I truly do want to understand why people are so angry. I do.

            And DD — I feel like we may be getting somewhere. Please ignore the snark. People care about MOTR and were upset she was hurt or frightened. She is our friend. Please understand that.

            Thanks.

        2. how Charter schools are so terrible. If someone can make that point without attacking people or using rhetoric and hyperbole, I’m all ears.

          There is a charter school in Cherry Creek where a lot of my neighbors send their kids. I don’t care for it, so my kids go to the neighborhood schools now (I sent my youngest to an arts magnet that was awesome). For us, choice is great. Why is that wrong? Please explain.  

          1. It’s easier for Cherry Creek folks to make that choice because all their choices are relatively equal in quality.

            What happens in DPS, though, is that they leave the neighborhood school to flounder while hyping the charter schools, leaving the hyper-marketed charter as the only choice.  Also, the charters you might get in CC are not the same charters we get in DPS.

            Instead, what the low-income students in DPS get are high-stakes, zero-tolerance schools like KIPP or SOAR that don’t serve English language learners or special-needs kids, with an incredibly narrow curriculum that serves only to get them to regurgitate the right answers on a multiple-choice bubble sheet.  And the worst part?  You have to apply to get in.  These schools foisted upon our communities don’t even accept all the kids in a previously-closed school.  Swapping out the kids in a building is not reform of a school.

            We don’t think that’s a good education.  We subscribe to the evidence that shows that properly resourced schools, where there is collaboration between teachers, parents and community, do best.  

            We should reference the CREDO study, paid for by charter advocates, that says that nationally, only 17% of charters do any better than a regular, vanilla public school.  Here’s the study: http://credo.stanford.edu/

            It’s not so much about charters, than it is they way they’re used and the narrowing  of the programs for our kids in DPS.  The data shows  that kids in vanilla public schools do quite well when there’s collaboration.

            Here’s our “what works” page that you might want to read: http://defensedenver.com/what-

            1. That information is very helpful. I do wish you would write a blog diary presenting fact like those above. That way, they will not be lost in the comment section.

          2. As a supporter of unions and neighborhood schools I am appalled.  I also believe they should consult an election attorney.

            However, I will take a crack at the “why charters are bad” question.

            Let me start by saying something weird: Charters are good–for some kids.

            The problem is about 1/3 of the kids in DPS are completely disengaged and for the most part these are not the kids going to charters.

            Going to a charter requires an affirmative step by parents.  They have to Choose to attend. unfortunately there are a large number of parents who are either unwilling or unable to engage the education system.

            When charters come in and take over a school as a whole without a self selected (or better charter selected student body) they perform no better and often worse than the regular neighborhood school.

            The impact of charters mean that the more engaged kids are concentrated and leaves the more difficult students left at the traditional school.

            Charters/ school choice have had three positive impacts in Denver: 1. reversed white flight and stabilized enrollment rates 2. highlighted the real problem areas 3. some kids have gotten decent educations.

            Unfortunately charters have done nothing to address the intractable problems that existed before and continue to exist–the disengagement of a large number of students (and their parents) from the education process.

            1. The only charter that we can say that gives kids a good education is the Odyssey school.

              We also liked PS.1 because of the concentration on engaging students that need different strategies, but the school board closed it because they weren’t scoring high enough on the CSAP.

              All the others have too narrow a curriculum, and a penchant for pushing out kids with challenges, to make them worthwhile for the 70% of Denver’s kids that are low-income.

              This applies to DPS, of course.  We don’t have enough familiarity with other districts to say either way.

              1. No personal attacks, no threats, no sarcasm, no assumptions. Can we start a diary just this way, educating people about DD’s legitimate concerns, starting at the top of a page? I think it would make all the difference. Thanks.

                What is the Odyssey School? Where is PS1? Why does it work?

                What alternative is DD offering to charter schools that the general (mostly education-industry ingorant)public may find appealing? What areas are DD willing to compromise on, and what areas are deal-breakers? Why?

            1. How are they “fcking” with you?  You asked an accusatory question, they politely gave you the honest answer, and you didn’t like how the answer inherently underscored the dumbness of your question, so you lashed out with deflective vitriol.

              @DD, you’re an inspiration — this is like watching Wally Cleaver clobber a dozen Eddie Haskells all at once. Don’t let the jerks get to you with their personal attacks. You’re in the right.

              1. I’m trying to wade through it to find answers to real questions. A new blog diary with a completely factual (not sarcastic) approach would be very helpful for those genuinely interested in understanding the history and purpose of this group (DD).

                1. The one titled “Trying to Understand the DPS Mess.”

                  There is good info here (and DD’s expertise in this field is one more indicator that the individual writing under that handle is probably a professional in education, not just a member of the “community), so this and other diaries can’t be discounted, but at least mine’s been free of vitriol so far.

              2. I was highlighting that the event was moved – not everyone here was registered and never would have seen the update.

                I actually was at Auraria – and if the event hadn’t moved I would have attended.   (Ps  Neither MCSD nor UCD were “sponsors”.)

                But I’m suspicious of the of all the encouragement to register to get the newsletter, to register for the event, to  register register register

                Who cares if I register?

  2. I respect Diane Ravitch, but from the Denver Post story I read, she was not happy about this event turning political either.

    Can you explain what it was that caused most of the sponsors of this event to pull out? Miscommunication? A whisper campaign? This includes both political groups as well as institutions like Metro State. What happened here?

    1. She just stated a preference for speaking at a free event, not because it was or wasn’t political, that’s all.  She wants the word to get out, unencumbered, and buying a ticket can be a stumbling block for some.

      There was a whisper campaign, and it appears that some of the foundation people from Donnell-Kay and Education Reform Now were threatening some of the original sponsors.  There was also a serious break-down in communication from one of the coalition members that organized the event.  We do know that board member Kaplan told people about the 527 when inviting them.  

      Appreciate the question.

      1. http://www.denverpost.com/news

        “I was told that a fee would be charged to raise money for groups supporting public education,” Ravitch said. “I don’t get involved in politics.”

        This actual quote from Ravitch:

        1. Directly refutes your statement about Ravitch’s “preference” for a free event, as she plainly says she knew a fee would be charged, and

        2. “I don’t get involved in politics.” This is not in any way ambiguous, is it?

        After you are finished explaining why you just willfully misrepresented Ravitch’s public statements, I’d sure like to know more about the “breakdown” with your coalition member. Are you saying that one of the event organizers indeed failed to tell prospective sponsors that this was a 527 benefit, exactly as reported? Where then did the “whisper campaign” come from?

        Like I said, explain why you’re lying about Ravitch first. I’ll wait for the rest.

        1. Or simply that she doesn’t get involved?

          She might even be saying that she doesn’t even vote.

          These are not the same things.

          Listen to the video, where you will hear the actual quote.  We said, “That was not our read at all.”  That denotes it’s our OPINION.

          1. You’re really not lucid of the fact that your “opinion” of what she said is the opposite of what she said, are you? For God’s sake, I copied the verbatim quote from Ravitch, which is the opposite of what you just claimed. So your right to your opinion grants you license to claim she said the opposite of what she actually said?

            No. It does not. And I’m starting to understand what your problem is.

              1. I am not asking this facetiously. I’m a little flabbergasted at your ability to plow unencumbered through such a major and easily revealed misrepresentation of the views of the woman who is the subject of your diary.

                I’m trying to explain to you as inoffensively as I can that this is extremely bad for your credibility, but still you cling to this patent absurdity.

                The very least I can say is that your unflappable disregard for simple facts makes it rather difficult to take your case for recalling Nate Easley seriously.

                More to the point, I think you might need real clinical help. What I have seen of your colleagues like Guerin Green suggests you may not be the only one.

            1. DD has not misrepresented anything here.

              Why don’t you watch the video of what Ms. Ravitch actually said before jumping to wild, misguided conclusions?

              She does say that she preferred that the event be free of charge.

              Your “logic” didn’t even make sense anyway. These two premises are not contradictory:

              a. Ms. Ravitch prefers to speak at free events.

              b. Ms. Ravitch knew that there had originally been a plan to charge a fee for the event.

              So, JeffcoBlue, are you going to apologize to DD for your false accusation?

              “God, I hate being lied to.”

                1. So, now, if someone else asserts out of the blue without any reason or evidence that you, ecx, have “been humiliated and discredited so many times over, you fool,” that this pronouncement will be accepted as fact, because, what — that’s the rules of the sandbox?  What is it about this forum that causes its regular participants to regress into the darkest habits of their childhood?

                  1. of folks who might ocassionally eat a rack of ribs sometimes, maybe even at Chilis — you know the kind, huh?

                    The problem with your response ssa is that you have been discredited here many times over — the evidence is abundant.  The reason, probably has something to do with you being such an insufferable ssa.

                    1. to post a link for Paypal donations to FOE . . . you’re winning so many new friends and supporters here again and all.

                    1. Can’t tell if you’re new, or just a new name — but, please, no more threats.

                      Most of us here are of the mind that — in stark contrast to the ssaes of this world — someone who bullies a bully is by definition just another bully.  There’s no such thing as justification.

                    2. And ecx, echoing Dio, threats aren’t helping the matter. I do hope Green gets a visit from the police for his threatening behavior, because that’s the appropriate way to handle it. (And if Green is ass, I hope Pols pulls the plug on his account. At the very least it’s time to put him in the penalty box for off-topic flaming…)

                    3. 1. I’ve indicated that I don’t think that threats — yes that’s exactly the word I chose to deem them — aren’t appropriate.  There is no justification.

                      2.  I’ve called the poster out for posting this crap as a newbie.

                      3.  And, that remark refers to the recently-expressed-elsewhere opinion held by some that other folks (who hold beliefs that disagree with that particular speaker’s beliefs) — folks like me and other Pols –that our entire lives, aren’t worth the rack of swine that we might be eating.

                      I didn’t make that comment as a threat, but as a reflection on the type of people, in their own words, who are attacking my friends and family here on Pols.  It was a stupid, ignorant, reprehensible remark made by one of your DD/FOE-supporting comrades and I’m calling them out for being exactly the kind of person that they are.

                      If my remark doesn’t resonate with you, or you’re not aware of the circumstances, then it isn’t intended for you.

                  2. and let us know when you solve that one.  

                    What is it about this forum that causes its regular participants to regress into the darkest habits of their childhood?

          1. The reason you’re not trusted is because you blatantly break the law. FOE does not. So calling the group “shadowy” as you think we call yours is actually completely incorrect.

            If you’re trying to make people worry about schools – mission accomplished.

              1. and Colorado law. Once your donations (cash or in-kind) reach $500 or $1000 (respectively), you must register.

                I already linked the law. You became curiously quiet.

                Registering with the city is free. The SoS doesn’t cost much. In fact, I’ll pay for it.

                Does the IRS know you’re a non-profit? You realize under federal law anyone can request a list of donors, right? Where do I send my request? By law, you must have a physical address. Non-profit status is given, not taken.

                Did you misspeak when calling yourself a “non-profit”? If you didn’t, post your address as required by law.

                1. Are you referring to the recall committee filed by John McBride?  That was filed too.  Entities don’t file recalls. People do.

                  At any rate, you can’t call a rag-tag bunch of parents and teachers an “entity.”

                  The IRS has no knowledge of us being a nonprofit because we’re not a nonprofit, nor are we claiming to be.  

                  Slow down for a second, stop talking about shovels, and flex your teacher-given reading comprehension skills.

                  The one that says that if you’re not representing yourself as a nonprofit, there’s no need to file or report?

                  1. And no, I’m still not talking about the recall campaign.

                    You refer to yourself as an organization and you take donations. You’re actively engaged in politics. Explain how you don’t fit under Denver law.

                    I can’t help but notice how you still haven’t addressed that.

                    1. There is a recall committee, duly organized and registered.  Then there is a 527, also properly registered with the SoS.

                      DeFENSE itself does not represent itself as a formal organization or a nonprofit, so there is no need to file anything with anyone.

                      Are you a voter?  Do you ever encourage anyone else to participate in the political process?  So why aren’t YOU registered as an entity, according to Denver law?

                    2. Does DD engage in the kind of politcal activity that Denve rlaw and Colorado describe that reuire registration and disclosure?

                      I don’t care if DD characterizes themselves as a “rag-tag bunch of parents and teachers” or neighborhood activists or interested community members or astro grassroots spontaneous be-ins and meet-ups.  If DD does the kinds of things Denver and Colorado describe that require registration and disclousre, the rule applies.

                    3. I heard this exact same bullshit from Doug Bruce and his assclown friends last year, and that bail bonds fat boy too. And it’s bullshit. I think DeFENSE Denver is slushy off-books support from Andrea Merida, as BS showed in his post about “Progressive Juice, Inc.” And you, like Bruce, are laughing at the weak state of Colorado election law.

                      That’s what I think. And I can think so if I fucking want to.

                      Whatevs, I’m not the cops. But I wouldn’t expect to get respect for operating like Doug Bruce.

                    4. Who cares what you “think”? Where is your evidence to support your assumptions and prejudices about DeFENSE?

                      Oh, they kinda remind you of Doug Bruce.  Well, you kinda remind me of Donald Duck, therefore that proves you’re a two-dimensional animated character apparently.

                    5. If that statement had been directed at a fellow member of the Pols home-turf playground gang, you would have dismissed it as a “heads up”?

                      Here it is again:

                      You have something coming your way that you’re REALLY not going to like.

                      Are you being honest with yourself, there, “Twitty”?

                    6. so I’ll make this my last comment for the day.

                      I see that comment as a threat. And I think it’s bullshit to threaten you. Period. Or to out you. Both are wrong. Period. No exceptions.

                      You certainly have proved with your comments here that your beef is personal with this place and specifically with Colorado Pols and anyone that supported Bennet instead of Romanoff in the primary. None of those things makes threatening or outing you okay. Nothing justifies that. And I’m sorry it’s happening to you. I really am.  

                    7. it looks like I put lb and sssaaa in a bad spot.  I didnt mean to threaten any body with anything other than meaning the law would eventually catch up to them.  sorry to everyone.

                    8. following these threads with a reasonable level of honesty and objectivity, MotR, will observe that in the very few instances where I’ve mentioned the Bennet-Romanoff race, it’s been when you and/or others have raised the issue, necessitating a response.  In fact, you’ve just done it again.

                      At least you’re being honest in acknowledging that ecx’s threat was indeed a threat, which is more than can be said for Twitty’s reprehensible response.

                      I also notice that none of the regular Pols bullies jumped on ecx for having created his/her account only hours earlier.  If ecx had spoken in favor of DeFENSE’s position, he/she would have been jumped on by several Polsters as a “shill” or a “sockpuppet,” but because ecx’s posts were consistent with the Pols groupthink, no such recriminations were forthcoming.

                      By the way, from what little I know of the particulars, I don’t think Mr. Green was justified in “outing” you.  There may be more to the story, but nothing in what he posted at CCN provided justification.

                    9. And I still don’t see it as an explicit threat.  Sorry, but that’s my take.  My understanding of the term implies coercion–‘unless you…’ then ‘I (or we, or someone) will…’  That’s what I would call a threat.

                      But we do share similar opinions of each other though–I find your tactics, bitterness, anger, and juvenile behavior atrocious.  So I guess we almost agree.  

                    10. I haven’t been “outed.” It’s my understanding that some goon from what is commonly perceived as “the other side” in the DPS dispute posted something here at Pols a few hours ago that supposedly “outed” me and claimed “I know all of this first-hand.” Well, when I saw the name of the person I was being “outed” as, I didn’t even recognize it and actually had to Google it to figure out who exactly I was accused of being. So the person who posted that “outing” is a liar, and most likely a pathological liar at that.

                    11. The Pols protect you, too, even as you come here and piss on the rug. Weren’t you the one who was just spreading equally unprovable shit about the identity of Pols?

                    12. that Pols had been unmasked by someone with concrete, first-hand inside knowledge of Pols’ identity and who had gone on the record with that information under her real name, and which several other insiders also corroborate off the record. So it was not “equally unprovable shit,” despite your disingenuous effort to establish a false equivalence to that effect. Moreover, there is a justifiable reason for people to know who the well-financed, agenda-driven political entity behind the curtain at ColoradoPols is, which is not the case with these other attempts at outing.

                      So, JeffcoBlue,have you apologized yet for falsely accusing DD of “lying” about what Ms. Ravitch said? Do you need to watch that video a few more times before you are able to screw up the courage and character to admit you were wrong?  

                    13. There is no ‘if you don’t’ or ‘if you do’ attached.  I see no attempt at coercion, rather it sounds more like a deed already done.  

                    14. I like how you pretend you’re reasonable and attack others for ‘bullying’ and being immature, yet your screen name is something a mean-spirited adolescent might come up with if he wasn’t too creative.  

                      Of course as we all learned back then, in Middle School, bullies are really just little cowards.

                    15. a response to the bullying tactics of a specific person who has a long record of behaving like a complete jerk toward other people without justification. It addresses that person at the same level that he treats good people who deserve better.

                      Smacking a bully when they have incurred a smack is not bullying.  

                    16. well, juvenile.  It says a lot about you.  That you seem to think it represents some moral high ground says even more.

                      How in the world you think engaging in a public flame war (with people who might be your supporters no less) is a good tactic, builds community, and furthers your cause escapes me.  And it doesn’t matter if you think you were provoked its simply stupid strategy.  But whatever.  

  3. DPS is not performing to it’s potential.

    Why?

    What is being done and what should be done to improve the performance – of the District, the staff, the students?

    Does DD disagree with anything that MOTR reported re: Nate Easley recall?

    Does DD approve of the bs that Green went through to stalk, intimidate or otherwise screw with* anyone?

    Does DD dispute anything reported by the Denver Post or other local media about Ravitch’s appearance?

    Does DD understand why they have become the story rather than what DD claims should be the focus?

    *annoy, torment, pester, plague, molest, worry, badger, harry, harass, heckle, persecute, irk, bully, rag, vex, disquiet, goad, beset, bother, tease, nettle, tantalize, or ruffle (ht San Diego Zoo)

  4. • Only 70% of all students in public high schools graduate, and only 32% of all students leave high

    school qualified to attend four-year colleges.

    • Only 51% of all black students and 52% of all Hispanic students graduate, and only 20% of all black

    students and 16% of all Hispanic students leave high school college-ready.

    • The graduation rate for white students was 72%; for Asian students, 79%; and for American Indian

    students, 54%. The college readiness rate for white students was 37%; for Asian students, 38%; for

    American Indian students, 14%.

    • Graduation rates in the Northeast (73%) and Midwest (77%) were higher than the overall national

    figure, while graduation rates in the South (65%) and West (69%) were lower than the national

    figure. The Northeast and the Midwest had the same college readiness rate as the nation overall

    (32%) while the South had a higher rate (38%) and the West had a lower rate (25%).

    • The state with the highest graduation rate in the nation was North Dakota (89%); the state with the

    lowest graduation rate in the nation was Florida (56%).

    • Due to their lower college readiness rates, black and Hispanic students are seriously

    underrepresented in the pool of minimally qualified college applicants. Only 9% of all collegeready

    graduates are black and another 9% are Hispanic, compared to a total population of 18-yearolds

    that is 14% black and 17% Hispanic.

    • We estimate that there were about 1,299,000 college-ready 18-year-olds in 2000, and the actual

    number of persons entering college for the first time in that year was about 1,341,000. This indicates

    that there is not a large population of college-ready graduates who are prevented from actually

    attending college.

    • The portion of all college freshmen that is black (11%) or Hispanic (7%) is very similar to their

    shares of the college-ready population (9% for both). This suggests that the main reason these

    groups are underrepresented in college admissions is that these students are not acquiring collegeready

    skills in the K-12 system, rather than inadequate financial aid or affirmative action policies.

    Jay P. Greene and Greg Forster

    http://www3.northern.edu/rc/pa

  5. (See, I’ve equivocated again!).  

    I would like to hit the reset button.  Reprehensible Twitty has been locked in the closet.  Can’t-We-All-Just-Get-Along Twitty is back.  While I find one particular poster on the DD side insufferable (and I still question the tactics), threats–implied, explicit, suggested or borderline don’t belong here. (My opinion on whether one was made hasn’t really changed, but as Ralphie pointed out, there is a purpose for the ‘preview’ feature. This includes careful thoughts about how our comments may be perceived, something I fail on myself more often than I would like).  

    Neither do outings or attempted outings belong here. Thanks for keeping it on the up and up Alva (or whoever you are)!

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