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October 20, 2011 08:48 AM UTC

The Grown-Up In The Room: DPS Candidate Emily Sirota

  • by: nancycronk


Denver may have one of the most heated school board races in the nation. Faction fighters on both sides of the political debate at Denver Public Schools would have you believe their opponents do not care about children in Denver. Battle lines have been drawn pitting friend against friend, former ally against former ally, community leader against community leader. Accusations fly about outside interference in neighborhood matters, the relative power of teachers unions, and the hidden agenda of corporate America to take over our schools (to allegedly create more consumers and “bean counters” than critical thinkers and visionaries, some say).

Above all the din of the warring factions, one rational, knowledgeable voice continues to bring voters back to the reason the school board exists: doing what’s best for the children and families of Denver. Emily Sirota, candidate in southeast Denver’s District 1, is disinterested in the circus-like politics of the DPS Board.

“I don’t belong to one camp or the other; I intend to make decisions based on research about how students learn best. I work collaboratively, bringing together all of the stakeholders. I am not running as a slate. I am an independent thinker”, said the red-haired mother of ten month old, Isaac.

Sirota continued, “I’m a product of public schools. I believe in public schools. My mother was a teacher. In a few years, my child will be a student in DPS, and I want the very best for him.”  

I met Emily a number of times at political events, and have always been struck by her peaceful presence and thoughtfully-chosen words. At a Democratic event a few years ago, I asked David Sirota, Emily’s husband, about his wife. “She’s a saint” he told me. “You have no idea.”

Emily studied Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington, and met David in Washington when she was working for Senator Evan Bayh on health and social policy. David was working for the Senate Appropriations Committee. It was there she witnessed the mess created by President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Legislation. She then worked for US Rep. Baron Hill on tax, budget and housing policy.

Later, the Sirotas moved to Montana, where Emily, while working for Governor Brian Schweitzer, successfully worked on bringing all-day kindergarten to Montana’s children. As an economic development specialist, Emily was instrumental in crafting Governor Schweitzer’s Early Childhood Education plan by successfully bringing citizens, businesses, educators and other stakeholders to the same table. Sirota soon discovered working on public policy at the State level was “too late and too top-down”.  

Wanting to make a difference at the grass-roots level, she and David moved to Denver in 2007, where Emily enrolled in the Social Work school at the University of Denver, specializing in Community Practice. Since graduation, she has worked with non-profits, and to defeat a ballot proposal that threatened equal opportunity laws.

Former employer Governor Brian Schweitzer, recently in Colorado stumping for Emily’s campaign, told a crowd of supporters Colorado needs Emily Sirota in Education.  Emily understands that quality education relies on investing in the entire spectrum, from early childhood to adult education. Sirota’s research in Education convinced her of the economic imperative to invest in Early Childhood Education as sound fiscal policy. Each dollar invested in Early Childhood pays dividends many times over for the state. One of the first things Sirota intends to do as a School Board Member at DPS is to make sure all kindergarten children have access to full-day kindergarten. “It should be an optional resource to the family, but it needs to be available to each and every student”.

Sirota is adamently against school vouchers. “In order to have strong public schools, we need to invest in those schools. Taking money out of their already-limited budgets doesn’t help. If you believe in public schools, you need to invest in them.”

When I asked Sirota if she would be in favor of vouchers for schools serving specific populations, such as autism, she was emphatic. “I don’t want to mince words here. I am unequivocally against vouchers. If a given population is not receiving the very best education possible, that situation should be remedied internally.”

When asked what she would say to those who feel vouchers offer more choice, she said, “There is enough competition already. There are magnet schools, charter schools, schools in other districts. There is nothing but choice in Colorado. Parents can send their children anywhere. What we don’t have here is a strong commitment to making neighborhood schools the very best they can be.”

Sirota believes neighborhood schools build strong communities, and strong communities, in turn, support great schools. “Our schools need to offer opportunities for students to connect with the world outside. We need to emphasize learning foreign languages, encourage critical thinking skills, and de-emphasize taking tests. We should not be judging schools based on test results alone”. She continued.

“We need to invest more in art, music, physical education – subjects that honor the development of the whole child. Life’s problems are not dealt with by multiple choice. Our teachers need to be empowered to go off-script a little, to take some risks, and to teach the things they are passionate about. When school is exciting, children not only learn, they continue to be life-long learners.”

I asked Sirota what she would do differently than her opponent, Anne Rowe, who has been endorsed by Democrats for Education Reform, Latinos for Education Reform, and Stand for Children. “Their plan,” Sirota asserted, “is attached to big, monied interests — supported by hedge fund folks. Anne was quoted to say, ‘We can’t derail the path we’re on’. Since then, remediation rates have skyrocketed. The Denver Plan goals have never been met. We need to do something smarter, based on educational research.”

“We need to listen to the people who live in our neighborhoods, and support those neighborhood schools. We should take the advice of the school accountability committees before building more schools. New schools should not be built without first engaging the neighborhood in a process of developing a community vision.”

“Take Creativity Challenge Community (C3) for example. It is planned to be co-located within Merrill middle school. The decision to locate the school in that building did not originate within the school community. It was a top-down decision. There was no ownership by the neighbors. Parents within the neighborhood had no say in the matter. They wanted the school to continue to grow as it was. There was not enough discussion about other options, such as using the closed Rosedale school.”

“As a result, the School District promised the neighborhood it would be a temporary move – that they would simply incubate the new program and move it out. The whole process created an environment of distrust that exists today. That is not the way to build a community invested in supporting and embracing great neighborhood schools.”

Sirota continued, “There was a survey of DPS residents which supports the community engagement process I am describing. The findings told us three things:  1.) Parents do not want us to open too many schools. 2.) They want high academic standards. 3.) Parents support strong neighborhood schools that challenge every student… at every school. These opinions were reinforced in an Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) written by parents at Skinner Middle School. We know what parents want and what students need — we need to deliver.”

I asked Emily what role teachers unions played in her vision. “We need to believe in our teachers. We need to trust our teachers. We need to include teachers in decision-making process – they have valuable contributions and insights to bring to the table. We need to create a collaborative, not competitive environment within our schools – an environment where all the best minds are working together to reach high standards for our kids. Principals will be an important part of this vision. If we do these things, teachers will be inspired to do their very best work.”

I asked Emily if she would choose one reason why Denver voters should vote for her. She answered simply, “I’ve met with all of the school board members and have attended a number of meetings within the district. I understand where things are, and where we need to go. We need to end the bickering. We need to end the drama, and bring back trust. We need to work together. Our children’s futures are far too important to do anything else.”

For more information about Emily Sirota, please visit Sirota For Schools.

Post-script, October 20, 2011

A previous thread suggested Emily Sirota misquoted opponent Anne Rowe on the subject of vouchers. I asked Emily this question, specifically for Pols readers. Here is her reply (paraphrasing):

“I pointed out the fact that hedge fund companies support the organizations which have endorsed her. Voters will need to decide for themselves what that means to them. My comments about vouchers are more general than what my opponent does or does not believe. She will have to speak to those questions, not me. I’m concerned with the larger issues we should all be asking ourselves like ‘Where is national educational policy going? What are the trends, and what should we be fighting for?’ ”


147 thoughts on “The Grown-Up In The Room: DPS Candidate Emily Sirota

        1. is anyone who expresses an opinion that differs from his own.


          Nancy posted a diary explaining why she supports Emily Sirota. This is a political blog. People post their political opinions here. You might not agree with everyone else’s political opinions. Get over it.  

  1. I’ve been very impressed with Emily Sirota’s ability to retain her poise and grace while standing firm against attacks from the mountains of political money that seek to turn our public schools into mechanized corporate profit centers.

        1. Why would you attach more than face value to any comments here? I sure don’t.

          I’m not in any tank. I support school board candidates who support policies that are good for the schools, for the kids, and for the community. That’s called good citizenship. And I don’t get paid for it. If you want to see people “in the tank,” check out the corporate-funded shills for the pro-“reform” (translation: “plunder”) candidates.

          1. I missed the “don’t.” Whatever. Same response applies.

            Indeed, don’t take my word for it — see who’s backing Rowe and where all that corporate money is coming from, and ask yourself why they want Rowe elected and why they see someone such as Emily Sirota as such a threat to their agenda.  

  2. Conducting an interview was a very constructive response to questions abut Emily’s diary here. But I can’t say it would have won my vote if I were a Denver voter. Her answers are very vague even to softball questions, and I was disappointed that she didn’t take the opportunity to retract or address her controversial implication that her opponent supports vouchers.

    Have to say Happy is the only one who I’m sorry I can’t vote for!

    1. corporate interests that want vouchers.  So the onus is on Rowe to make a clear statement repudiating vouchers. But instead, she offers carefully crafted weasel words such as these:

      “I want to continue my focus on creating great educational environments within DPS. … I don’t think vouchers play any role in that,” Rowe said on Tuesday. “Hopefully now we can put this to rest.”

      Right, vouchers “don’t [currently] play any role” … “within DPS.” But of course, the whole point of vouchers is that they are not intended to improve education “within DPS” — they are intended to take tax dollars out of the public schools and put them into the pockets of religious and/or for-profit entities.  

      1. above your quote. Here, let me help you out.

        Rowe has issued a flat “no” at candidate forums when asked about support for vouchers.

        Oh and since you’ve been a long time lurker like you claim, I’ll assume you saw that I spoke with Anne personally to clarify her position on vouchers and then posted that reply here, with her permission.

        Since DPS diaries seem to be your primary interest in this blog, I’ll even link and repost the comment for you. That’s just the kind of helpful blogger I am.

        Hey, sxp, regarding Emily Sirota and her diary

        last week, I have an answer for you that I think you were asking about. (Since this is sort of an education sub thread, I thought I’d give you the answer here.)

        Someone posted in reply to Sirota’s diary that Anne Rowe was against vouchers. You questioned if that was actually true (considering the guy had joined 5 minutes earlier, it was a pretty valid point, on your part.)

        Well, I called Anne, left her a VM and she called me back today. We spoke for about a half an hour. She is NOT for vouchers. Period. In no way, shape or form. Never has been and isn’t even sure why her name would be brought into a conversation about them.

        I asked her permission to reprint her answer here and asked her if she was on the record that she does not support vouchers. She doesn’t support them and that is for the record.

        If I’m hijacking this thread in any way, feel free to shoot me an email, if you have any questions.  

        “I wouldn’t characterize caloric intake as “professional development.” c rork

        by: Middle of the Road @ Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 13:08:00 PM MDT

        [ Parent | | Reply ]

        Again, she is unequivocally against vouchers.

        Happy to help!  

        1. And then, all of a sudden in May,

          Wow.  That was weird.

          So yes, she needs to be clear, especially since the small group of largest donors are all voucher people.  Folks are right to be suspicious and not just go on someone’s verbal assertions.

          If a candidate is trying to get minority votes, they might return the donations of known members of the KKK, for example.  It would be prudent, because you would want to show distance from that ideology.  That’s sort of protocol.

          So is she returning voucher money since she’s not for vouchers?

            1. I don’t think anyone here is saying Anne Rowe said she is in favor of vouchers. I think it is pretty clear from all of this stupid mud-slinging and correcting, she is saying she is not (from my point of view).

              The bigger question, one that all of us should be asking IMHO, is, “What role do corporations play in supporting groups that support candidates? Why would large corporations (or hedge funds) have an interest in local schools? How do they think they might make a profit off of educational policy? What policies are they investing in and why? What would those policies look like in the real lives of our children?”

              I’m a little befuddled why such intelligent people would spend so much time not having rational dialogue about those important questions, whichever “sides” they are on.  

        2. Her answer was a “flat no” — but how was the question worded that she was answering? Without knowing that, the answer is virtually meaningless. Remember Bill Clinton issuing a “flat no” to the question of whether he had had “sexual relations with that woman”?

          You still haven’t provided a clear position statement from Rowe.  Quantity of words is no substitute for quality. That big block of type that you pasted contains hearsay and paraphrasing, but still no clear statement directly attributable to Rowe. For all we know, she fed you a bunch of weasel words and you gleefully (perhaps willfully) misinterpreted her words as stating unequivocal opposition to vouchers when in fact she was saying nothing of the kind.

          What was the exact wording of her purported denial?

          Emily Sirota has been very clear about where she stands on vouchers. Anne Rowe has not.

            1. Post a clear position statement unequivocally opposing vouchers, directly attributable to Anne Rowe. Why can’t you do that, Mr. Gessler MOTR?  

              And yes, I imagine Emily is looking for volunteers, because she’s running a grass-roots campaign — of the people, by the people, for the people — as opposed to the mega-corporate-funded machine that’s behind Anne Rowe.

              1. You’ve read EdNews link. You’ve read Anne’s replies. She was asked if she supports vouchers. She has repeatedly said she does not. You don’t like her answer to me. You don’t like her answer at candidate forums. You don’t like the answer because it doesn’t fit your meme. I’m sorry the truth is so unpleasant for you.

                Please feel free to continue to lie and distort. That is your right and I’m sure it’s super helpful to your candidate to have folks like you on this blog on her behalf. Calling a fellow Democrat Mr. Gessler also helps your case here, I’m sure.

                Or you could call Anne and just ask her, like I did.

                I’m done here. Have a great day. Reply to your heart’s content because as they say in my line of work, I won’t be returning any more of your phone calls. No need for me to waste another ounce of energy replying to a returned banned user.  

                1. once again, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ANYONE SUPPORTING ANNE ROWE TO PLEASE INTERVIEW HER TO PROVIDE EQUAL TIME. This he said/she said stuff is a great example of what makes the DPS board so dysfunctional. She may be an amazing candidate as well, but the larger audience will never know if she doesn’t get help getting her message out there. Please — I would love Denver voters to get all of the information they need to make the very best decision about their candidates. The more (sourced) information to share, the better!

                1. Let’s say we were trying to pin down a GOP presidential candidate on whether or not he would invade Iran, based on the fact that he closely associates with, and is heavily funded by, organizations that support invading Iran. You don’t think it would be reasonable for the voters to want a clear, direct statement from the candidate regarding his position on the issue? You think the onus would be on the voters to prove where the candidate stands on the issue?

                  Where is the “allegation” in a simple request for a candidate to state a clear, direct position on an important issue?

                  This is “the way it works,” bub: The candidates are supposed tell us where they stand on the issues, and we vote for or against them based on that information. Your understanding of how representative democracy works is all cockeyed.  

              2. That make so many of their members appear somewhat insane?  MOTR=Gessler?  Someone saying ‘no’ does not mean they said ‘no’ becasue Bill Clinton lied?  Accusing others of ‘childish retorts’ while repeatedly calling any who question your position ‘dickhead’?  

                Messengers matter…in your case to the detriment of the candidate you say you support.  Emily probably would do better with supporters other than yourself.  

                    1. then why the hell are you cluttering up the thread with your nasty self-aggrandizing comments?

                1. let’s take apart that comment from “Twitty” piece by piece:

                  Starts off with an unprovoked ad hominem:

                  What is it about certain political cliques

                  That make so many of their members appear somewhat insane?



                  Nope. Her behavior in this instance — an inability to simply post evidence that she claims to be able to provide — is reminiscent of Gessler’s inability to provide evidence to support his claim that there is voter fraud in Denver.  The meaning of the Gessler reference was obvious, and it’s equally obvious that you are deliberately playing dumb in pretending not to get the implication.

                  Someone saying ‘no’ does not mean they said ‘no’ becasue Bill Clinton lied?

                  Nope. The reference to Clinton was an underscoring of the fact that politicians often use deliberately vague wording to make it seem as if they are saying one thing while leaving wiggle room to shift to a different position in the future. This was in reference to Anne Rowe’s vague position statement on vouchers, which left room for her to support vouchers after taking office. Again, you’re wantonly pretending not to understand this point because you cannot provide a substantive response.

                  Accusing others of ‘childish retorts’ while repeatedly calling any who question your position ‘dickhead’?  

                  Try re-reading those comments, “Twitty.” I was only responding in kind to comments from people who were behaving like complete knuckleheads. And judging by the fact that you just called me “insane” with no justification, I put you in the same category as them.

                  You’re deliberately misstating and misconstruing my posts here, “Twitty.” That makes you a … well, your name says it all.

                  1. I noted that there is a notable number who appear to be insane among a certain political clique based on their comments here.  If you self-identify with that group so be it.

                    I suspect it is a subset of a larger groups that agrees with similar principles but better understand tactics, which is why I think you do your candidate no favors as you certainly do not appear to be one of those. But, again, merely observations…go forth and shill!

          1. You requested a flat, unequivocal NO. MoTR testified to it. You then moved the goalposts.

            If you don’t believe Rowe, just say so. Insisting you didn’t get the answer you asked for, when you DID get that answer, is weak. So is engaging on an attack on a messenger.

              1. Because anything that someone else posts is, by definition, hearsay.

                I expect this to be the end of your role in this thread until you post what Rowe told you.

                But wait, that would be hearsay.

                ByeBye Michael.  

          2. Wouldn’t that be how print interviews work?

            Interviewer asks the suggest interviewee a question. Records the answer – and writes it up.  How is what Nancy did any different from what MOTR did?

            1. When a professional journalist writes down a direct quote in his or her notes and then transcribes it into print as reportage, that carries a lot of weight and legitimacy.  Often a professional interview is documented with a voice recording, but even if it’s not, the professional reporter’s notes are typically considered credible, though not indisputable, evidence of what was said in the interview.

              What MOTR did was provide a casual synopsis of her impressions of what had been said in her conversation with Rowe. Any qualified city editor in the country would laugh that kind of pseudo-reporting right out of the newsroom.  

              1. but I am not a professional journalist. My major was Psych not journalism. I have always written in my work, however, and considered myself “a writer”. I did not record my interview with Emily as I did when I interviewed Susan Daggett (and am kicking myself for it) but when I did write it up, I sent the quotes to the campaign and asked her to verify that I did not misquote her. I stand by the content, not the exact words. To be perfectly honest, Emily has a better vocabulary than I do.

              2. but I am not a professional journalist. My major was Psych not journalism. I have always written in my work, however, and considered myself “a writer”. I did not record my interview with Emily as I did when I interviewed Susan Daggett (and am kicking myself for it) but when I did write it up, I sent the quotes to the campaign and asked her to verify that I did not misquote her. I stand by the content, not the exact words. To be perfectly honest, Emily has a better vocabulary than I do.

    2. I interviewed her for 70 minutes and I had a lot of quotes, so that was edited out. I did specifically ask her if she believed Anne Rowe was in favor of vouchers. I told her the reason I was asking was because someone on Colorado Pols said she was implying that Anne Rowe supported vouchers by arguing so vehemently that she (Emily) was against them.

      Her response was (paraphrasing), “I pointed out the fact that hedge fund companies support the organizations which have endorsed her. Voters will need to decide for themselves what that means to them. My comments about vouchers are more general than what my opponent does or does not believe. She will have to speak to those questions, not me. I’m concerned with the larger issues we should all be asking ourselves like ‘Where is national educational policy going? What are the trends, and what should we be fighting for?’ ”

      Why did I not include that question and response in my piece? To be frank, I find the whole “he said, she said” thing on the blogs pretty juvenile, and quite honestly, I did not want to perpetuate it. Also, I am sharing this interview in places other than CO Pols. I had to make a decision as to what I thought a larger audience would want to know. That was my call, not Emily’s, btw.

      I’ve posted the phone number, email address and website already so that if anyone would like to discuss past issues, they can call and talk to her directly. Personally, I think Denver voters, as well as other Coloradans and people outside of Colorado who are watching this race, are more concerned with the issues than the personal politics. JMHO

      1. My question to Sirota about the “community process” currently in use in NW Denver as well as the one used in Montebello continues to go unanswered.  It is a critical question.

        I cannot vote in the SE District, but I am a Denver voter, and will be voting for a candidate for the at-large seat.

        I don’t know who I would vote for in I were in either SE or NW Denver.  But, I do not vote for people who will not answer my questions. I think if Sirota has any supporters who actually live in her district, this would be a good time for them to come forward.

        1. I am a paid recruiter for a progressive leadership organization which has no particular interest in speficic races or issues, and I sit on a special district board (not education) which pays a tiny bit of compensation. I am for hire as a free-lance writer. If I am hired by any candidate, candidate’s campaign, or special interest group, I will promptly and openly share that information.

          Thanks for letting me advertise, dwyer.  🙂

          1. But I am racking my brain trying to think of a “progressive leadership organization which has no particular interest in specific races or issues” that recruits aggressively with paid recruiters…

            1. We train emerging progressive leaders in messaging, fundraising, networking, campaigning, public speaking, etc. It is non-partisan and the fellows come from a huge array of communities — not all of whom agree with each other. The goal is to boost regular people — not just the uber-wealthy and well-connected — to achieve their goals, whatever those goals might be. It’s an amazing program. Many of the graduates have gone on to holding public office, working in Washington, starting non-profits, etc. If anyone is interested, please contact me privately about it. We are looking for new fellows for 2012. Thanks for letting me put in my plug, Dwyer!  http://www.progressiveleaders…. (If you apply on-line, be sure to contact me so I can watch for your app.)

      2. But the advance notices of this interview implied, if not actually said, you would address this particular claim, i.e., that Candidate Sirota claimed her opponent was pro-voucher (as other supporters of hers have now repeated) and that the opponent said she wasn’t when directly questioned.

        If they’re both opposed to vouchers, then it would elevate the campaigns and the public discussion to agree and move on.  I know that’s not how campaigns work.    But it could be, even if it means the candidates have to do the hard work of differentiating their campaigns on actual, you know, differences.

        That said – I don’t care about either candidate.  I don’t vote in Denver anymore, and I’m (fortunately) not involved in the DPS election.    The campaign has unearthed an interesting question about Easly-  is he moving to Douglas County? Did he say he was anti-voucher, but now is pro-voucher?   What’s his deal?  

        Beyond that IDK and IDC.

        1. Her response was (paraphrasing), “I pointed out the fact that hedge fund companies support the organizations which have endorsed her. Voters will need to decide for themselves what that means to them. My comments about vouchers are more general than what my opponent does or does not believe. She will have to speak to those questions, not me. I’m concerned with the larger issues we should all be asking ourselves like ‘Where is national educational policy going? What are the trends, and what should we be fighting for?’ ”

          1. I should note that I don’t condone putting quote marks on paraphrased responses and rendering them in the first person. A quote is either a verbatim quote or it’s not a quote.

        2. Her response was (paraphrasing), “I pointed out the fact that hedge fund companies support the organizations which have endorsed her. Voters will need to decide for themselves what that means to them. My comments about vouchers are more general than what my opponent does or does not believe. She will have to speak to those questions, not me. I’m concerned with the larger issues we should all be asking ourselves like ‘Where is national educational policy going? What are the trends, and what should we be fighting for?’ ”

          1. I saw it as a comment just above.

            And that’s my point –  I thought you were going to address it in the interview.  Others clearly did too – or the question would not have come back.  Apparently, you did, but did not include it in the diary because you see it as trivial.

            1. I don’t see the point of putting in if I post on other sites, though. No one else seems to have this running argument anywhere else (what allegedly Emily said Anne allegedly said).

              1. It doesn’t matter to me.

                I suspect it doesn’t matter much to other CoPolsposters.

                What does matter is the political discussion being… corrupted by irrelevant bs.  I hate it.  It’s so ….useless, except that it does turn people off to the process.

                I thought you were going to address it in the interviewed though you did, but did not include it in the diary because you see it as irrelevant.  Ok

                When candidate x, and his supporters and proxies,  incorrectly attribute some position to candidate y –  it takes away and tears down.

                It’s a fine interview for what it is.  Good luck to your candidate.

  3. This is not even a race I care about, but this is getting ridiculous. Let’s all simmer down and give her a chance to check her email and see if she’s willing to come back and answer this again.

        1. Having seen quite a few photoshops in your time?


          /for the record, sent at 2:39 PM with no changes from the screenshot. Ball is in her court now.

              1. From Ed News.  


                Anne Rowe

                Age: 51


                Employment: Co-owner, RP Publishing, Inc., 20 years; Principal, InSource Denver, 10 years

                Experience in district: District volunteer work includes serving as founding co-chair of A+ Denver, co-chair of DPS Advisory Committee on Immigration and Integration and as member of Superintendent’s Parent Forum; school volunteer work includes serving as Slavens School PTSA president, Mathletics Brain Bowl coach and co-founder of George Washington High School Patriot Partners

                Education: MBA, University of Denver, 1986

                Family: Husband Frank, one daughter is graduate of George Washington High, two daughters currently attend GW

                Endorsements: Democrats for Education Reform, Stand for Children, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, others on website

                Follow: Website, Facebook

                On vouchers: Oppose

                On Proposition 103: Support

                Personal statement: I believe all DPS students should receive the best education possible. As a Denver Public Schools board member I will use the experience I’ve gained through accomplishments as a community leader over the past 25 years to achieve this goal. I have served on a number of nonprofit community boards that address the needs of Denver’s kids. My involvement at the school level began 16 years ago when I became part of the group of neighborhood parents who worked to re-open Slavens School. In more than two decades as a community leader, 15 years as a DPS parent and countless meetings with parents, teachers, administrators and community members, I have learned that all successful schools exhibit the following characteristics: Strong leadership and excellent teachers that are held accountable, Engaged parents that participate fully in their children’s education and their school community, Students that strive to meet high expectations.

              2. When MOTR contacts someone, asks a question, reports the reply here – hearsay.

                When nancycronk or PC contact someone to ask a question (s) and reports the answer here – not hearsay.


                Does the actual definition of hearsay have anything to do with “dickhead”?

                1. It’s an evidentiary issue.  We’re not in court.  Hearsay doctrine doesn’t apply.  Sheesh.  Anyone who thinks it does is a … well, you know the rest.

          1. Fabricate an alternative reality whereby I insisted upon a “12 point font” and then ridicule me for having insisted on that “assinine specification.”  

            Keep it up, guys. You’re representing Anne Rowe just great.

      1. Weirdly enough, you would think this issue would already be resolved and a non issue after the amount of times you have publicly addressed it but I’m guessing, even after your reply here, it will never be good enough for Mr. Ellis and friends.

      2. And if you’re elected, you can expect the voters to hold you to that. Still not as unequivocal as Emily’s stated position, but it’s a lot more concrete than anything else that was posted in this thread until now.

        Will you be adding an extended policy statement on vouchers to your campaign website? I think the voters would surely appreciate that.

        1. Ralphie inadvertently makes a valid point: How do we know this person is Anne Rowe?

          Upon closer inspection, the account was just created a few moments ago. It does seem curious that Anne Rowe would misspell her own first name in her ColoradoPols account name.

          In PCG’s email, she asked Ms. Rowe to “log onto your Colorado Pols account once more” and issue a statement.  Does Anne Rowe already have an account? If so, why create a new one?

          Nope, I’m still not convinced. If this person really is Anne Rowe, she can prove it by posting a clear position on her official campaign site, or any number of other verifiable ways.

              1. What’s the difference between what MOTR and nancycronk did?  both contacted candidates with questions- both reported the answers on CoPols.

                Believe what you choose – when you choose, the way you choose, for whatever reason you choose.  

                ps- no way that was Anne Rowe, Candidate postas as annrowlovescommunityschools. just my opinion- but it was too quick, as if the candidate has nothing better to do than hang around here waiting for a chance to jump in. YMMV, but NFW.

      3. For example, my first name is Joe, but I can’t type so it came out as “sxp.”

        Think I’ll go create an account called “AnneRoweSupportsVouchers” because we haven’t discussed this enough.

      1. On username creation. And it seems to be exactly as many as Annrowelovescommunityschools.

        I tested it and was able to make AnneRoeLovesCommunitySchools (Guvs, delete that acct if you want) but not AnneRoweLovesCommunitySchools (would have given that one to Anne had it gone through).

        So it could be her, if she sometimes uses the other spelling and doesn’t feel strongly about it. But I will wait for her reply.

    1. She sent you that e-mail at 3:45 asking you to post something here on Pols?

      Then who is this “annrowelovescommunityschools” person who had already created a new account and posted on Pols at 3:29? If it was Anne who posted here, why did she then ask you by email 16 minutes later to post a response on her behalf? And how could she misspell her own first name with a common alternate spelling, and why did she have to create a new account if she already had one?

      I don’t know whether that poster is or is not Anne Rowe, but that’s all pretty odd.

      And by the way, I’m still leery of the “vouchers have no place in Denver Public Schools” wording. Again, vouchers would not be something occurring within the public schools — by their nature, they occur outside the public schools.

      1. and she might change her mind later on vouchers (as Easley appears to have) after the election.

        But her statement is pretty unambiguous here, and the fact that trustworthy regulars like MOTR and PCG have confirmed it directly is about as good as you can expect.

        There are no absolutes except in math, but this seems pretty close.

        1. “It’s always possible a candidate could be lying”

          But that’s why we have to pin politicians down and compel them to make clear statements of where they claim to stand on issues, so at least when they do flip-flip, there’s undeniable proof that they flip-flopped.

    2. I refuse to =choose to- believe it.

      In fact, was Anne Rowe born in the USA?  Birth certificate please.

      She claims numerous degrees on her campaign web site. Let’s see documentation please.

      Married?  marriage certificate.

      And on and on and on.

    3. surrounding the newly created Pols account, I believe that the email PCG posted from Anne Rowe is legit. And I trust Anne will follow up on her offer: “If more information is needed on my positions, please feel free to call or write.” OK, here’s a request for more information: Do you promise to oppose any form of school vouchers that might be proposed in Denver in the future, or are you just stating that at this time you do not support any particular proposal for vouchers?  Are you unequivocally opposed to school vouchers in any form now and in the future?

      1. “Prove it”

        “Are you now, or have you ever been (_____insert inflammatory bs here___) ?  Will you ever in the future?”

        I was bored  – but you are weird.

          1. As someone pointed out above you keep moving the goalposts and its dumb, annoying, and getting old.

            Also you have probably convinced quite a lot of people blogging and lurking here NOT to vote for Sirota.

            Good show.

            1. You’re making shit up.

              My request for a clear statement of position directly attributable Anne Rowe has not changed.

              Seems like you’ve overheard grown-ups mention “moving the goalposts” and you thought it would mean something if you dropped that expression into a random conversation yourself.  

                1. You said:

                  ” So the onus is on Rowe to make a clear statement repudiating vouchers ”

                  Rowe said:

                  ” I DO NOT SUPPORT VOUCHERS”

                  then you go on:

                  ” OK, here’s a request for more information: Do you promise to oppose any form of school vouchers that might be proposed in Denver in the future, or are you just stating that at this time you do not support any particular proposal for vouchers?  Are you unequivocally opposed to school vouchers in any form now and in the future? ”


                  I wouldn’t use the phrase moving the goalposts if I were too stupid to know what it means yet want to impress everyone. Instead i’d go with something like using “adduce” in the wrong context.

                  1. In her email to PCG, the person identifying herself as Anne Rowe wrote “I DO NOT SUPPORT VOUCHERS” and she also offered to answer any further questions, so I asked a further question for clearer elaboration and clarification on her terse statement. If you think asking relevant follow-up questions of politicians is “moving the goalposts,” then you simply don’t know what you’re talking about, and it’s a damn good thing you’re not a member of the White House press corps.

                    So, can you explain why someone identifying herself as “Ann” Rowe created an account and posted here, and then 16 minutes later someone calling herself “Anne” Rowe emailed PCG and asked PCG to post a message here on her behalf? Or why “Ann” Rowe didn’t log in using the existing account that Anne Rowe reportedly has here? Don’t you think that whole scenario is a little odd and cries out for explanation?

                    1. He’s absolutely, indisputably correct. But then, Rowe was indisputably against vouchers yet you disputed it anyway…

      2. 🙂

        An interview with Anne would make a great first diary for you. For my part, other than letting the Guvs know if there is an impostor in our midst, I’m through taking up the time of a candidate I can’t vote either for or against!

        1. No, because it took that long to get anything resembling a concrete answer to the simple question that was posed. And it’s still not clear who ultimately posted here under “Ann” Rowe’s name.

          I suppose you consider Woodward and Bernstein troublemakers who shouldn’t have asked so many meddlesome questions of public officials?

          1. So you’re comparing yourself to Woodward and Bernstein? Or is it that Nixon was pretty clear about the Watergate break-in and only they got him to repeat what he already clearly said?

            1. I’m citing a prominent and recognizable example of why you shouldn’t try to prevent people from reasonably asking politicians to explain their positions on issues and their conduct in office. That same principle of transparent accountability that applies to White House politics also applies to local school board races. Pretty sure you knew that was the point, though, and you’re just pretending not to get it.

              1. is that you weren’t being reasonable. The question had been asked and answered, but not to some unreasonable standard you had set. Oh, and you weren’t really “questioning” – that would mean that you had contacted Rowe yourself.

                You seem to be a legend in your own mind, Michael. It’s wearing out your welcome fast.

  4. I accept that you don’t believe in vouchers.  However, do you accept money from people and organizations who do?

    Since Sirota doesn’t answer my questions, I don’t expect Ann (Anne) Rowe to either.  One of the reasons I would not put a child anywhere near DPS.

      1. Anne, do you like

        vouchers ?

        I do not like them,


        I do not like


        Would you like them

        Here or there?

        I would not like them

        here or there.

        I would not like them


        I do not like


        I do not like them,


        Would you like them

        in a house?

        Would you like them

        with a mouse?

        I do not like them

        in a house.

        I do not like them

        with a mouse.

        I do not like them

        here or there.

        I do not like them


        I do not vouchers.

        I do not like them, Michael

        And that still probably wouldn’t be good enough for you.

        1. There appears to be more than one Ann(e) Rowe running against Emily Sirota. Hey, maybe the two Ann(e) Rowes will split the corporate/knuckle-dragger vote and Emily will win in a landslide!

    1. Anne Rowe ought to provide some plausible explanation as to why Wall Street hedge funds are heavily funding her local school board campaign in Denver. Hedge funds don’t make “investments” without an expectation of profitable “return” on that investment. Maye there’s a reasonable explanation, but whatever it is, the voters deserve some kind of hint at what that explanation might be.


        “I’m a Colorado Pols blogger and I’d like to interview you for publication on”

        See what she says. It can’t be any LESS effective than posting your questions for her in a 135 comment thread that there is no way any candidate has time to read two weeks before the election.

          1. One fake, and the one who contacted me is real but I think I was wrong in my initial belief she had an account here. I had not been following this race since I can’t vote in it. So I think there is not an Anne Rowe actually reading this thread.

            (I don’t know this for sure.)

        1. Why don’t you ask.  

          Here’s a couple for you.  As a progressive, are you ok with all the right-wing money coming in to that campaign?  Do you think there might be a remote chance that Rowe might vote to privatize or voucherize the DPS as a pay-back for patronage?

          I’m not asking because I think you might be a campaign operative.  I’m asking because you seem to be willing to give neo-con money a pass, and somehow that fits in your progressive world view.

          Are you being paid by her campaign?

          1. and I resent your suggestion that I would explicitly break the rules of this blog by accepting a paid campaign position while FPE here.

            I do not work for anyone except myself and the private sector megacorporation that employs me, and if I am even a volunteer with a particular campaign, everyone here will darn well know it from my posts about it.

            I’m quite through taking up Anne Rowe’s time and have moved on to taking up Scott Gessler’s time.

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