Douglas County School Board Should Be Shown The Classroom Door

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Well the evidence is in and for all the upheaval over the past four years in the Douglas County schools because of the 2009 election of so called conservatives to the board of education and the subsequent implementation of their policies to terminate the ever evil teachers union and to send public money to private sectarian schools, they have nothing (repeat nothing) to show for it. The scores below represent the percentage of children in the Douglas County school district proficient in the three primary areas of learning:

                   2009        2013

Math            69%        70%

Reading        81%        82%

Writing         68%        69%

In words, after all the hoopla and gnashing of teeth over how bad those unionized teachers are and how all we have to do is stop bargaining with the union and set-up our own teacher evaluation system, establish charter schools, and launch a program to send public tax dollars to private sectarian schools nothing has changed. For all the nonsense expounded by the four so called conservative candidates who were elected in 2009, they haven't improved public education in Douglas County one bit. The nonprofit funding arm of the Douglas County schools paid Bill Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, to come out to Douglas County in September and deliver a speech praising the school board reforms. In other words, even though there hasn't been any appreciable improvement in student performance, they're going to pay nationally known figures to endorse their reforms because the board can then proclaim they have worked, even though the evidence shows they haven't improved academic performance. The present board is attempting to fool the public.

The test numbers above aren't the only statistics that support the futility and uselessness of the board's so called reforms. The Colorado Department of Education rates each school district by awarding a composite score for academic achievement. Since the present board was elected, Douglas County schools composite rating has dropped:

                  Annual Rating by CDOE

​2010                      78.2

2011                      72.7

2012                      73.7

What does all of this mean. The Republican Party, which intervened directly in 2009 and again this year in the Douglas County school board elections (and now in the Thompson School District elections in Loveland, Colorado), has wasted the last thirty or more years using the teachers union as its whipping boy and proclaiming that if it wasn't for the union we could educate our kids. Surprise, surprise, it turns out the union wasn't the culprit after all. What a waste of time at the expense of our children. Again, the Republican Party refuses to deal with the real reasons some kids have difficulty learning but of course to deal with those realities we all know costs money and that goes against one of the other sacred Republican principles – "There's a problem – cut taxes."

Apparently, the Douglas County school board members have and are resisting the request from some quarters that they establish performance standards for the board and their reforms. I wonder why? Could it be this has all been a waste of time and money, and in reality has been nothing more than the pursuit of hard line ideological myths that have no basis in reality?


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