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September 24, 2014 08:43 AM UTC

The Madness of Julie Williams

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: Chalkbeat Colorado's Nicholas Garcia reports, the largest protest yet today in Jefferson County:

Stretching on for a fourth school day, students from some of Jefferson County’s largest high schools gathered at a busy intersection here to echo concerns about a proposed curriculum committee they believe could lead to censorship and show solidarity with their teachers.

The rally appeared to be the largest thus far. More than half of the 1,900 students at Chatfield High School, coupled with hundreds of students from Dakota Ridge walked, ran, and drove up and down a stretch of Simms Street shortly after classes were supposed to start at the two schools.

According to the Denver Post, students at Bear Creek High School also walked out this morning. And according to sources, students at Alameda High School [walked out] this afternoon after meeting with a representative from Jeffco Public Schools.




GOP state senate candidate Tony Sanchez and Jeffco board member Julie Williams.
GOP state senate candidate Tony Sanchez and Jeffco board member Julie Williams.

Yesterday's student walkout at at least five Jefferson County high schools, in protest of the new conservative Jeffco school board majority's proposed "curriculum review committee" to undertake a politically suspect review of revised AP history materials, has exploded into national headlines. The New York Times, along with major online sources like Talking Points Memo and Raw Story, have elevated this controversy and linked it to the larger right-wing struggle against updating education standards throughout the country. Jefferson County, like most school districts, has always had some form of ongoing curriculum review, but carried out by people with educational experience–with specific goals of ensuring the material is comprehensive and conformal to standards set by national bodies like the College Board.

The conservative board majority's proposal, to select members of this new "curriculum review committee" by majority vote of the board with no qualifications required–and especially the committee's proposed mission to ensure the district's history courses promote "citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority," and "presents positive aspects of the United States and its heritage"–is not the same process at all, and poses a direct threat to the academic integrity of Jefferson County's AP history courses. A second proposed target of investigation by this new committee, the district's sex ed courses, hasn't even been explored yet by the media, though we expect that would become every bit as controversial should it be enacted by the board.

The author of the proposal, board member Julie Williams, is a member of the Neville family of arch-conservative activists in Jefferson County. Williams' brother-in-law, for Sen. Tim Neville, is running again for Colorado Senate District 16, and her in-law nephew Joe Neville is the hard-charging principal lobbyist for the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners organization. These are people with a very broad political agenda, of which education policy is merely one piece–albeit an important one. On Monday, as protests ramped up, Williams responded to her critics.


I was truly surprised by the reaction of so many people regarding the AP U.S. History curriculum (APUSH). I must not have explained myself clearly. I thought everyone, or at least everyone involved in education understood the huge debate and controversy surrounding the new APUSH. To be accused of censorship? “Seriously?” That is just ridiculous. I am advocating for just the opposite. So, please let me start at the beginning…

APUSH rejects the history that has been taught in the country for generations. It has an emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, grievance and American-bashing [Pols emphasis] while simultaneously omitting the most basic structural and philosophical elements considered essential to the understanding of American History for generations….parents who have reviewed APUSH have been very unhappy with what their children will be taught and have lost trust in the “experts”. Please note: This is NOT a committee to review teachers, this is NOT about teachers, it is about curriculum review, which is a board’s responsibility.

Balance and respect for traditional scholarship is NOT censorship. Again we believe that exposure to the curriculum itself, not inflammatory rhetoric; will convince most parents that a review committee is a very good idea. I humbly ask our Jeffco history teachers to review their philosophical position on the APUSH. I think the majority will be surprised to find they agree. I invite them to join us while we investigate this curriculum, together…

Last, when it comes to history I believe all children graduating from an American school should know 3 things: American Exceptionalism, an understanding of US History, and know the Constitution.

The most obvious problem with this response is how Williams says she doesn't want censorship, but then launches immediately into a reactionary diatribe about the AP history curriculum's "emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, grievance and American-bashing." Williams clearly doesn't like that, and we can infer pretty easily from her description of it that she would like the new AP history curriculum in Jefferson County to change.

Which is an awful lot like censoring it.

For us, the sophomoric and badly-written language of this "press release" is itself an embarrassment to the Jefferson County School District. We can't speak for everyone, of course, but placing the word "experts" in scare quotes inspires the opposite of confidence in this person's viewpoint–especially as an education administrator. It would be one thing to have a debate about a history text's "emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, grievance and American-bashing" with a person who is qualified to debate these subjects, but Williams simply is not. Her sole purpose on this school board appears to be to inject the Neville's far-right agenda into their process at every step, and spew AM radio talking points that have no place in a discussion about education in one of Colorado's best and largest public school districts. Certainly not in the closely divided political bellwether of Jefferson County.

The exposure of Williams' agenda, now underway in the form of massive protests and national news coverage, could be very bad for her fellow Republicans this election season. By provoking such controversy with a political review of history, Williams has touched a nerve that crosses party lines–and could bring out angry independent voters in Jeffco who might otherwise have stayed home.

For Republicans, this could be a most unfortunate consequence–even if they can't say it was unintended.


175 thoughts on “The Madness of Julie Williams

  1. See, Jeffco Board, there's this test at the end of AP Us History.  And parents have to pay for the test.  And the students have to answer the questions in the way the National AP test graders are expecting you to answer.  And if all of your answers are white-centric and sanitized, then the students will flunk the test, and the parents wasted their money, and, and, and…..

    1. Actually, it's far worse.

      Cut and pasted is an email I received from the College Board (the folks who administer AP classes and the AP test):

      Regarding your inquiry:

      Although schools develop their own curriculum for courses labeled "AP", the AP Course Audit Department insures their curriculum is up to par.

      Schools wishing to use the "AP" designation on their courses must participate in the AP Course Audit procedure. The AP Course Audit Department was created at the request of College Board members who sought a means for the College Board to provide teachers and administrators with clear guidelines on curricular and resource requirements for AP courses.

      Courses that meet or exceed these expectations will be authorized to use the "AP" designation.

      Any further questions about the AP Course Audit should be directed to the AP Course Audit Helpline:

      Phone: (877) 274-3570 or (541) 246-2500
      Mon. – Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET)

      So, if the Jeffco AP class is not reviewed and approved by the College Board, it ceases to be an AP class and students cannot take the AP test…


        1. The impact on acquiring college credits and the college applications that will be coming up for these kids have certainly gotten their attention.  That is why this is a really big deal.

  2. The new conservative curriculum, according to Ms. Williams:

    "All children graduating from an American school should know 3 things: American Exceptionalism, an understanding of US History, and know the Constitution."

    The doctrine of US Exceptionalism is an idea that the USA is the greatest country in the world, that it is "exceptional" in its freedom and democracy. This idea may have been true in the USA's first century, but it is no longer true. There are many democracies and many countries freer than the USA now.  Williams is demanding a graduation requirement that students believe a demonstrably false premise.

    1. As I understand it, American exceptionalism was not originally used to connote superiority as much as difference. I.e. the US is unique. American exceptionalism is a theory, actively debated. The hypothesis that the US is unique and/or superior is an example of something that should be discussed in an APUSH class. The “fact” of American exceptionism has no place on the curriculum.

    2. "…and know the Constitution." I suspect she'd only want students to know the second amendment. She wouldn't want the notions of free speech, freedom of religion or reprensentative government to create "little rebels"

      1. " and we know the constitution'. What a laugh. Never met a Tea Partier or anyone who nowadays calls themselves Libertarian who wasn't woefully ignorant of that document and in favor of policies that violate it.

      1. Nice, Frank. I suggest you eat some. America has been the engine of the world for 100 years. The success of (originally and hopefully soon again) laissez-fair capitalism and constitutional republicanism has funded and encouraged America's saving of europe (WWI, WWII, and the Cold War) from the onslaught of fascists and communist domination. The importance of American's focus on individual's liberty and  freedom throughout the world has been responsible for our overwhelming dominance in providing help to others in their desperate times of need – voluntarily and individually. That engine provided the impetus for the entrepreneurial creativity that allowed America to have the highest standard of living on the planet ever known to mankind.

        That is American exceptionalism – and eliminating such from the hitsory curriculum in favor of trashing America is politically motivated by the left to further children's acceptance of Marxism – and you know it. This instance of union and leftist extreme reluctance to having a review committee only furthers the cause of having the committee and wrenching control away from the union in voters minds. Good. Thanks!

          1. "It's been a while since most of what you reference has been operational." Things that happened in the past ("a while" ago) are generally considered to be history, right? American exceptionalism is a very important part of American history and it should be included in the AP history curriculm.

            We should also include the history showing why (some) believe that exceptionalism has waned. There are two sides to that coin and they should be mentioned with equal weight with data supporting same.

    3. From an 4/1/14 interview on the Peter Boyles Show, with guest host Chuck Bonniwell:  

      GOP CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, TOM TANCREDO:  You know, that is why, Chuck, one thing that I absolutely want to do when — and if I am governor,  is push for a standard.  And you know, we presently have a Republican majority on the State Board of Education.  Now it has not flexed its muscles very much, but we actually have a majority that I hope stays that way on the Board, and I hope we can work with to develop a new standard that has to be in place.  And it is, simply stated, that every child graduating from school in this state, must be able to articulate an appreciation for Western Civilization, for American Exceptionalism, and for the Constitution of the United States.


      hmmm.  What can one say? Monkey see… 

            1. Only offered in response to the onesided perspective portrayed above. You know, that's what I love about progs. Always and obviously never in favor of a balanced viewpoint.

      1. Tony Scalia has actually said he is always corect in his view of what the the Constitution says.  Ah huh.  That skalawag  did.  Apparently, he is infalliable like the Pope or God.  That just makes one want to smile.

    4. Can we just get over ourselves already. Democracy was not our idea. Many of our laws are based on English Law. We also adopted some French ideas. The Statue of Liberty in New York is a gift from France and not the original. The original is much smaller. Democracy was flourishing in ancient Greece, in Alexandria. There were some cool ideas about democracy circulating in Europe as well. We took them and ran with them. We put some cool ideas into practice and they have worked out well for a couple centuries. Go Team! England has had a Parliament for far longer than we have and the document that we benefit from most is neither our Constitution, nor the Declaration of Independence, it is the Magna Charta. Short version it limited the powers of the king. Google it for more details.

  3. Ms. Williams position is absurd. Of course race and ethnicity should be a major part of any American history course. Anyone, with even a rudimentary knowledge of American history, knows that African Americans were enslaved and even after slavery was ended by the Civil War were treated as second class citizens throughout the United States for the next hundred years. The Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 60's simply asked that all Americans be treated the same. These facts should be taught not for the purpose of bashing the U.S. but to put our entire national experience into perspective. There are both good points and bad ones in our history. The K-12 history curriculum today is far better than when I was in school. In the "good ole days" which I suspect she wants to return to, American history was nothing more than a pageant of our national triumphs. The suspect parts of our history were never brought up. That was wrong and any attempt to return to that is also wrong.

    Does she even know what American Exceptionalism means? I suspect she doesn't. If one looks at the founders (Yes, Ms. Willoiams that's right – the men and women who founded are nation), they did not think American Exceptionalism meant  a global foreign pokiicy where the U.S. tries to transplant our version of democracy across the globe the way President Bush tried in Iraq. Far from it. George Washington and his fellow founders meant that America should be a model society for others to emulate if they so chose. Our founders never thought American Exceptionalism should be translated into an aggressive foreign policy to force our ideals on other peoples around the globe.

    And what does she mean by students should know the Unithed States Consititution. The meaning and application of the Constitution has been a topic of debate throughout our history and all the various perspectives should be taught not just Ms. Williams interpretation which is what I suspect she is aiming for.

    Apparently, the Jefferson County School Board doesn't like "experts." They want people to review curriculum and make recommendaiton on right-wing ideological grounds which of course means the facts are irrelevant and need not be considered. They want to turn American history into a course of fiction.

    1. Oh yeah, they like experts, but also believe in the wisdom of the people's common sense and that there are others than just JCEA and educrats who should have a say in how we taxpayers spend our funds for public education. Get used to the idea – we're not going away and these types of extremist rhetoric and actions only fuels our resolve.

      1. You should get used to the idea that your regressive, anti-education, "common sense is better than that there fancy book learnin'" mindset and fevered dreams of a 1950's America that only existed on "Happy Days" is dying out, along with the majority of people who practice it.  Lies, propaganda, and attempted brainwashing of young people is all you've got left, but, thankfully, they've already shown they're not standing for it. 

        You can evolve, or become extinct.   Deal with it.

        1. Oh, we are dealing with it and will gather the majority of America – critically thinking Americans – and shine a bright light on the stain of progressivism on our county. But feel free to take another country – like Cuba or Venezuala – which are already more in tune with your Marxist agenda.

          For all too long, we've allowed your leftist ilk unfettered control of our education system and your attempts at brainwashing our young. It ends now. (Note: such has provided much fodder for fruitful critical thinking discussions with our children.)

          However, I can not pass on my curiousity of your claiming we're the curmudgeons, when you've obviously chosen that mantra as your own.

          1. Wow, so many wrong assumptions in such a small space.  Such hilariously turgid prose borders on satire.

            You'll gather the majority of America? The majority disagrees with you and your backwards ideology, and critical thinking is not something your ilk cares for (or do you think whitewashing history and lying about this country's past encourages critical thinking?)  

            P.S. Curmudgeon is a descriptive term that I would never ascribe to your kind, as it requires a more realistic look at the world than you have the courage to attempt.

              A mantra is a Vedic hymn, or a repeated statement or slogan. You really should learn what words mean before you attempt to use them to seem smart. 

          2. "Critical" — yes, to your dying breaths, without one even semi-reasonable alternative policy to offer.

            "Thinking"?  Don't flatter yourself. Your ilk kicked the "thinking habit" many moons ago.

            "The majoirty of America"? You?  It is to laugh, and you are deeply deluded. Venture out of your right-wing closed information-feedback loop sometime. You'll be astounded at what the real "majority of America" is thinking.

            1. Um…yeah, that's why JeffCo overwhelming changed the structure of our BOE from the educrat/union run system to adding some balance including parental and taxpayer control. More transparency is coming whether you like it or not, because the voters apparently do.

          3. A couple of points. By the time you get to college are supposedly past the mental fragility of a ten year old so that a leftist professor or rightist professor should not be capable of brainwashing you with a few lectures. Also, I will allow you to replace liberal professors with conservatives on one condition. For every two professors you replace I get to replace one judge and we will start with the United States Supreme Court.

  4. The wacko right's ability to take over school boards as a launching point for their entire agenda has always depended on the fact that few people pay attention to or bother to participate in lowly local elections like this. The new Jeffco school board just might be bringing enough attention to their off the charts extremism and contempt for community input to change that. Thanks, wackos. And thanks parents and students of Jeffco. Of course teachers deserve thanks too but without the support of parents and students nobody would listen. They made this a national news story.  These fine Americans, young and old, are making a difference. Our founders would be proud of them.

    If only we could see the same thing in Texas, a huge state that exercises  so much influence in the text book trade. But I've already noticed this protest bringing attention to what's going on there, too, where the great humanist thinkers of the Enlightenment are completely left out as influences on our constitution while religious leaders going back to Moses are the only "philosophers" prominently featured. The fact that many of our founding fathers were humanists and deists, not Christians, is  completely ignored. Even Washington, nominally Christian, was never much of a church goer and objected to the establishment of army chaplains, feeling that it wasn't the government's business to meddle in the spiritual lives of the troops. 

    Being of various faiths and denominations, most were deeply suspicious of any role for religion in the new federal government of the federated republic they were creating which is why they left it out of the constitution, except to say that the government should neither endorse nor ban any and fenced belief off from those things to be within the sphere of issues to be determined by majority rule in the democratic process. And who would be more hostile to the idea that we should all be blind cheerleaders for our government  than our  founders?

    These self proclaimed Tea Party patriot types are always screaming about taking back our country and they're right. They're just wrong about who should be taking our country back from whom and what our country, as created by our constitution, is supposed to be.

  5. You have to figure this isn't the kind of family help that Timmy was looking for.  It might be a difference maker in SD16.  Extremism doesn't fall far from it's twisted roots.

      1. Wait – you can't say that in government managed schools or in politics. Well, 'er, I'm just guessing you believe more in the (non-existent) separation of church and state than you do His ears…

        1. The Constitutional expert weighs in that there is no separation between church and state.

          Just because the actual words "Separation of church and state" don't appear in the Constitution has not stopped multiple Supreme Court decisions from making law providing that no one religion shall be the basis for law.

          (That's part of the reason why fears about Sharia law are not founded in reality). From the First Amendment to the Constitution:

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …"no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

          1. The actual text is:

            "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

            Your additional text is not part of the amendment, but I'm guessing you know that.

              1. Yes – and that is good. Sadly, they've been badly bent by the untruths spread by the progs. The good news is that this week and this weekend they'll be getting some feedback including reality checks about inaccurate prog talking points.

            1. Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

              Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists.

              1. Yes – to insure those Danbury Baptists that the new government would not inhibit their freedom to practice their religion in any way. Including in their commerce or their other daily practices.

                1. Well, no.  They were actually seeking support from the president for their position that their right to worship as they saw fit should not be given as scraps to beggars but as the rights of all freemen by the established Congregationalist Connecticut state church, not trying to avoid baking cakes for the gays.  But, hey, your truth is as good as any, right?

                  To Thomas Jefferson, Esq., President of the United States of America

                  Sir, Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your inauguration, to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the United States. And though the mode of expression may be less courtly and pompous than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, sir, to believe, that none is more sincere.

                  Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter, together with the laws made coincident therewith, were adapted as the basis of our government at the time of our revolution. And such has been our laws and usages, and such still are, [so] that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation, and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore, if those who seek after power and gain, under the pretense of government and Religion, should reproach their fellow men, [or] should reproach their Chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dares not, assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

                  Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States is not the National Legislator and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each State, but our hopes are strong that the sentiment of our beloved President, which have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these States—and all the world—until hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed from the earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and goodwill shining forth in a course of more than thirty years, we have reason to believe that America's God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which he bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you—to sustain and support you and your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth and importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

                  And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

                  Signed in behalf of the Association,

        2. The constitution does say that the government is barred from endorsing religion and also from banning religions That's de facto separation of church and state. It means religious matters are outside of the realm of those things in which the government is allowed to play a role either to promote or to suppress. The fact that the phrase "separation of church and state" doesn't appear is entirely irrelevant in light of the clear constitutional establishment of a government barred from interfering in spiritual matters, for or against.

          You have all of your talking points down but don't know WTF you're talking about.

          1. Um…and the fact that the founders didn't object, but supported inclusion of many Christian ideas (prayers in congress, gongressional chaplins) and text to be written on most of our government buildings is just not relevent? Riiiight…I see the (lack of) logic. Nope, not remaking real American history to fit an agenda.

            1. I know I said I was done discussing things with a parody but it would be rude of me to fail to thank you for so kindly proving my point.

              You clearly haven't understood the very words you quoted. Just what do think "no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"' means? It means our government is not to be in the religion business. That spiritual matters are to be left outside the realm of those things which government is allowed to promote (establish) or discourage (prohibit the free exercise thereof).This is the means by which freedom of conscience is guaranteed to every individual in our constitution. Like all constitutional rights it hasn't always been fully or perfectly implemented but that's what it says. Thanks for backing me up on the whole you don't know WTF you're talking about thing.  Mom was very strict about thank you notes.

            2. those "inclusions" are wrong and should be removed from practice. We should not be doing that which encourages superstitious beliefs or behavior. Except in baseball

  6. Sorry Julie, but there's nothing at all exceptional about your jingoism — it has been one of the primary banes of all mankind worlwide since the earliest dawn of governance. Perhaps you should have paid a little more attention during 8th grade history class??


    1. Interesting. Methinks jingoism is a more appropriate description of the left's aggressive extreme intolerance for anyone else's opinion or input to the issues. Golly, of what fascist and communist dictatorships does the left's approach remind me? Whoops – you're not a diety are you, Dio?

  7. One thing missing in all the discussion:  the review committee is just a proposal at this point in time. I do not see where discussions of citizenship, patriotism, knowing the Constitution, etc., are bad in and of themselves. What's happening here is the sort of hysteria that seems to occur among the left whenever someone looks at them cross eyed. Reminds me of the hysteria emanating from the far right, "family values" crowd, whenever someone talks about a woman's right to choose.

    Maybe hold off on the rhetoric until something more concrete emerges? And maybe I'll volunteer to be on the review committee, to show the far righties what a real conservative looks & sounds like.

    Regards,   C.H.B.

    1. That's crap. You're skipping all the statements about what they think history education should be and that is clearly a version in which snips and adjustments are made for the purpose of  indoctrinating in a particular jingoistic ideology.

      You're also missing the fact that this board is already notorious for it's contempt for he public and public input so its "proposals" generally have resulted in done deals.   This time, it's not going their way, not because of "hysteria", but because of staunch patriotic resistance to the Texas inspired direction in which they clearly want to take the teaching of history, clearly intending it to be highly scrubbed and censored for propaganda purposes.

      "Cheers" right back at you, C.H. B., Bluecat.

        1. Doesn't hurt either that the Board's proposal is for the three in the majority to appoint all of the members.  Really, is that looking at something or is that mandating something with no input.  It's still a potato.

    2. If the proposal were just what you mention, I'd be included to agree.  Here's what was put forth prior to the tabling.

      Review criteria shall include the following: instructional materials should present the most current factual information accurately and objectively. Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.

      Theories distinguished from fact.  This is likely already done in those places where there are muliple theories that are both accepted and explain events.  Unfortunately it is also revisionist code for teaching the views of slavery apologists (slaves actually had great freedom and the role of slavery in the states only had a part in the war as it related to the North's envy of Southern economy), and denialist code for science such as evolutions (if it's just a theory…) and accepted understanding of anthropogenic global warming (but it's raining at my house!).

      Discussing citizenship and patriotism, as you note – fine.  Promoting them, possibly also fine, but there's plenty of nuance that can take this into propaganda.  Promoting benfits of the free enterprise system?  How about teaching about how it works instead, warts and all.  We can be a capitalist nation, but we need to understand the problems that come along with that as well as the benefits.  Promoting respect for authority and individual rights…OK, but what about the role of society, the commons, and public goods in benefitting society to the detiment of individual rights?

      The rest, encouragin or condoning civil disorder, social strife, or disregard for the law covers every social movement from the Revolution through Climate Party NYC a couple days ago.  This is the part that so many are ridiculing.

      1. The only problem with our capitalist society today is that government created corporate forms which allow individuals to avoid personal responsibility.  Do away with corporations and you don't have to interfere in the market any more because, wow, everyone  has everything on the line and short term stock prices don't mean a damn thing.  See you stupid "Republicans" of today, you're buying into this faux "conservatism" which is really totalitarianism desguised as something else.

        1. Craig, I'm all on board eliminating crony corporatism. Note that it has nothing to do with laissez-faire capitalism – which was the original motor driving American exceptionalism, freeing the entreprenurial spirit, and allowing Americans to generate the greatest standard of living ever realized on the planet – as well as pulling everyone else up with us.

          Corporations are not the evil ones. Do away with the corrupt government officials desiring to force their version of a command economy on the rest of us. Extreme regulation begats regulators, which begat lobbyists, which begat corporatism. We need to go back to free markets. Period.

          1. You're "go back" to free markets insinuates there has actually ever been a free market in this country.  You're delusional if you think that today's oligarch's will ever think they own enough of any market – or will voluntarily allow new players in the marketplace.  They have become the masters at privatizing profits while socializing their risk; they (the corporate intests that you insist are not the problem) will devour anything that gets in their way.  When the Tea Party was in its infancy I thought you had something.  Then you sold out to the very corporate interests that are the root of problem.  Your 'evil government' is nothing but a manifestation of the corporate money that infects the entiretly of Capitol Hill.  As my Jesuit friends preach daily: "Go to the root".

            Sadly, you've become laughable at every level.

            Free Market Mythologies and the Future of Public Ownership

            Moreover, as George W. Bush demonstrated during the financial crisis – much like Ronald Reagan before him, during the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s – when private corporations get into trouble and put the whole economy at risk, as is inevitable given the amount of profit-driven coercion occurring between private parties in a deregulated “free/r” market, the only entity that can save the system from collapse is the state. In essence, in so-called free market economies, profit becomes privatized while risk is socialized. Moreover, to pay for public bailouts of private corporations and system stabilizing interventions, the proponents of free markets subsequently insist on heavy doses of “austerity” to reduce deficits and debt—proposals that inevitably include further attacks on workers’ rights and the social safety net.

    3. When people speak with disdain for the "experts" you know they are up to no good.  This acute anti-intellectuallism combined with a total lack of humility is what separates propaganda attempts with true improvements in how our children conceptualize and solve problems.  Sorry CHBullshit.  Where there is smoke there are anti-science, anti-intellectual assholes trying to foist their form of freedom on everyone else.

        1. Sorry back Gilpin Guy. I'd rather wait for something actually being presented than to sink into the morass of rumor and innuendo. By the way, I know all about anti-science and anti-intellectual as a long time member of, and major donor to, Americans United for Separation of Church & State. That's the real front line, baby.   C.H.B.

          1. This is what's actually been presented. If you don't have a problem with this then by all means support the board. Apparently enough students and parents and, yes, even right leaning Denver Post editorial board members do have a problem with it that it's getting quite a lot of attention. Rightie school boards hate attention. Cheers.

            Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. – See more at:


          2. For a second I thought you were the lone member instead of a long time member.  I've gotta get some stronger glasses.

            You do make a point about waiting for the other shoe to drop before getting in a snit but sometimes it's safer to be pro-active than wait until all the glaciers melt.  These people are black hearted assholes who will be gone before you know it and hopefully their damage will be minimized.

    4. Unfortunately, the review committee membership was going to be "each commissioner gets to recommend a few people, then the majority gets to pick from that list" – i.e. the RRR majority would get to appoint all of their favorite candidates, with no minority representation.

      And as BC has already pointed out in response to your point, the agenda was already on the table – and it is the same agenda that is driving anti-APUSH Republican 'reforms' nationally. We know what that is, and it's not simply a curriculum review.

      The point of an AP History class isn't to cover US History at the same bland level as other middle/high school history courses. The point of AP History is to learn about critical analysis of history through source documents. Learning to ferret out the truth of history and re-learning the same old "traditional" US History material are antithetical to each other. See David's "The Expert" video that he just posted the other day…

      1. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have the committee members picked out.  It shouldn't be too hard for people in the district to ferret that information out, and perhaps they have.

      1. Boys and girls — today's right-wing meme/cutesy talking-point term is "Educrat."

        Can you say that with me,vboys and girls? "Educrat."

        Good!  Now, anytime anybody says "Educrat" today, what are you going to do?

        That's right — scream real loud!

    1. As with all the best humor, it's funny because it's just a hair off dead accurate. After all, don't know if it would be the same today since John Wayne is ancient history but polls used to always list him as one of America's greatest heroes. I'm sure he may have been a perfectly decent guy but he only played heroes on film. Never served in the military or fought to protect settlers or anything else out of the ordinary in terms of heroics. On the other hand, James Stewart, an honest to God command level officer and highly successful bomber pilot in WWII, never was considered any kind of American hero in polls.  He played a lot of slightly off kilter roles, some sweet bumbling types and a few absolutely sinister roles, few heroes.  We're funny that way.

      1. Some on the right tend to confuse reality with fiction. Ronald Reagan spent World War II years making movies and playing a war hero while others served in combat (Bob Dole, Daddy Bush). Then there was Dan Quayle’s unfortunate episode of confusing Murphy Brown’s fictional character for a real TV journalist.

          1. Your comments are both a bit over the top in forgetting how tough our troops and American's had it during WWII. I suggest you not forget that some of those films went a long way to encourage the bravery of our troops and the resilience of those struggling on the home front during WWI. Or would you fellows have preferred we lost that one?

            Heros are not limited to only those serving in our military, although many of them were and are heros to Americans. Jimmy Stewart may not have been considered a hero in the polls you've seen, but he certainly was in the eye's of many Americans – and I seriously doubt he'd approve of the falsehood based trashing of Mrs. Williams, John Newkirk, Ken Witt and their families.

            John Wayne's patriotism was not feigned, nor will it be degraded by you comments – he lived it in real life, too. Let's not forget the hope provided our country and servicemen by Bob Hope when he wasn't serving in the military. Maybe we should also remember what Bill Clinton and Barry Obama were doing in their youth? Or Jimmy Carter's stint as a "nuclear engineer."

            1. Everything you say is a retread of talking points so old and used up we haven't seen them here in years, not even from our own resident righties. Did you just arrive here via time machine? Are you a parody of a 90s rightie or something?

              1.  So old…yup, history IS about OLD happenings. A resident righty, I'm not. My goal is not to convince you of the error of your ways, but to occassionally ensure the truth is spoken here.

              2. Do you believe this new cornball troll? Any minute now, I'm expecting Wally and The Beav to stroll into pearls-laden June's immaculate kitchen for some swell cookies and milk, before heading down to the all-white malt shop to start "wooing" Betty Jean. Or is it Mary Lou?

                These aging righties and their maudlinly sentimental "we demand our lily-white, male-dominated, never-actually-existed Uhmurka back!" slop have got to go.


                1. All-white malt shop? Not true, DP…not true at all!  The 50's TV show that folks like jpa like to fantasize about has more than a few black people in it (in the service and entertainment industries, of course), and they're the good kind…still well-behaved,  thankful for their freedom and kinda-sorta equal rights, with none of that scary anger or uppity attitude……


                  1. Ah yes, there is that. In glorified rightie yesteryear, the 'pigmented ones' always knew their place, and were damned grateful to have a (silenced, wallpaper-like) place.

                    1. It is so satisfying when you progs finally get down to your ad hominem…and throw the race card. If you only knew…..hahaha!


      1. Alan Franklin ‏@alanfranklin  1h

        The back of the bus is where the air conditioning is, so no one ever really complained. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics



        Aaron Haag ‏@AaronMHaag  1h

        To encourage Critical Thinking, start class on Fridays with a discussion on what if Mel Gibson is right. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory



        Tim Coady ‏@tim_coady  1h

        1957: 9 black students begin school in Little Rock. Everything was fine and no one was mad. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory

         View photo


        Sam DeWitt ‏@TheSamDeWitt  1h

        The Cold War was the basis for the Hoth battle scenes in The Empire Strikes Back. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics



        Michael Ditto ‏@janus303  1h

        Every April we remember the day the Job Creators at the Ludlow mine exercised their 2nd Amdt rights. #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory #copolitics

  8. I guess this is why the Board majority thinks they need to change the ciriculum since somehow these stupid kids have decided to be civilly disobeident when that's just not allowed.  The law is that kids have to attend school.  These kids are breaking the law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have truant officers and all to enforce that.  So obviously, the content of the courses is teaching something that is just not acceptable and is surely a marxist/socialist plot to destroy the Country.  To hell with what Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence.  We just can't tolerate this distain for the law.  Arrest them all!!!! Expel them all!!!!!!!! It must be done.


    Frankly, folks, this is important in that it happened at Chatfield and Bear Creek and Dakota Ridge.  All these schools are in the south and most conservative end of the county.  Really, I didn't expect this.  

    1. Good observation Craig.  This is a disaster for Jefferson County Republicans on par with Pat Robertson being a disaster for Kansas when he actually implemented his loopy Republican economic policies at the state level.

      1. Pat Roberts or Sam Brownback.  The Pat Robertson I know about probably has loopy economic theories, but he definitely saved Virginia from a hurricane by talking to God.   He has frequent two way conversations with God and  knows that all liberals are going to hell. 

        1. My bad Miss Jane.  I meant Sam Brownback.  Kansas was supposed to be a conservative paradise but it isn't looking too rosy right now.  Brownback probably wishes he had some of Hickenloopers economic numbers.

          1. Brownback is a shill.  I'm from Kansas, and they are conservative, but when things go south, they notice. Brownback may try to blame this on Obama, but I don't think that is going to work this time.

  9. Lack of educational experience is not particularly relevant to determining the substance of what should be learned in non quantitative subjects.  Instead, it would be relevant only to determining complexity of material and speed in which it should be imparted.

    1. Do you believe the most important goal of teaching history should be emphasizing only positive aspects of our nation's record at home and abroad for the primary purpose of instilling patriotism and discouraging civil disobedience or social strife and encouraging respect for authority?  Never mind. I know you well enough to know I'll never get  anything that has much to do with answering my question just as your comment has little to do with any serious aspect of this discussion. 

      In any case that's obviously not what the protesting students, parents and Denver Post editorial board think should be the basis of a Colorado school district history curriculum. And it's not what I think it should be. You're entitled to whatever your opinion might be though you generally obfuscate instead of just spitting one out in direct language. 

        1. Obfuscation, yes, indeed.  Of course Elliot doesn't believe that.  He has children, assuming he doesn't want them to go to Liberty University, he will want them to have the education needed to get into the better schools.  

          1. This whole thing is hilarious,  at the same time it's also serious.  This is a culture war.  It' s good to have a sense of humor.  As for our side, we are doing all right.devil


    2. While you may have a slight point that strictly educational experience is not dispositive, subject matter experience is quite relevant.  Who has that experience?  Mostly the teachers/professors who make up the college board…

      I certainly wouldn't want say, my medical decisions, made by someone who knows nothing about medicine


      1. Alcat, plenty of other people besides people who teach a selection of history for years have informed opinions as to what portions of history should be taught.  

        As for Bluecat's question, it comes down to what the purpose of history education is intended to be.  The state subsidizes it for a reason – and before you say "to make well-informed citizens", you need to ask your self – "well-informed about WHAT???"

        1. They should be well informed about the history of the nation in which they are citizens and potential bullet catchers should it come down to it. 

          US History is messy, bloody and dark in a lot of cases. For a school board to want to promote respect for authority and abhor civil disobedience in a nation that freaking used civil and military disobedience to throw off its original authority is just madness to the highest degree. 

          The good should be taught with the bad and there should be no attempt to sanitize it. You want to know what I learned about the Progressive Movement when I was in AP US History? They marched and worked the system to create the income tax, provide the franchise to women and bring the popular vote to the election of Senators. You know what else I learned about the Progressive movement? It was pretty damn racist in a lot of respects towards African Americans, it didn't much care for immigrants and was a pretty elitist movement. I got the good with the bad. 

          These kids deserve the chance to learn our shared history that way, too. America is not the shining city on hill, but it is the best of a bad situation. We are who we are as a nation because of every aspect of our history, not jut the good parts. 

      1. TL;dr version: you all have been overemphasising the importance of educational experience to unjustly discredit efforts by the school board to set curriculum. 

  10. My use of the word mostly seems to have been lost on you…

    And, I hold a high standard for the word "informed".  A person, Julie Williams, who, on her bio, indicates not a bit of knowledge of US history and, in a press release, cannot complete a gramatically correct sentence isn't going to get near that standard.



      1. Of course she cut and pasted from the same source that Tancredo did (see Michael Lund comment above).

        It seems there is an equivalent organization to ALEC cranking out nutwinger agendas for Borgified Boards of Education.

      2. Obviously, she is not.  She has been made aware of a "huge debate and controversy" that she thought everyone knows about.  She also treats American Exceptionalism as a fact.  It isn't, it is an opinion.  As such, it is a valid topic for discussion. The stated intent of the school board is alarming to many parents and students in Jefferson County.  And, as has been noted in this thread, many of the high schools involved in this protest are in the more conservative part of Jefferson County.  

        To the community they serve this board appears to be willing to tamper with the integrity of the history curriculum to align it with their version of a more politically correct one.  This district already has curriculum review committees. And the AP curriculum must be aligned with the expectations of the College Board to be granted AP status.  This board appears to be moving away from that.  I know you hate it when you are wrong because you are not paying attention to what is going on. You like to argue for conservative issues and people.  But this isn't conservative or liberal. It is about intellectual integrity.  Apparently this country still cares about that.

        In public schools appearance is all it takes for parents to become concerned.  The AP classes can give students college credit. The kids and the parents have made this a really big deal, not the posters here.  And this is why, from Julie Williams herself:

        "~~I was truly surprised by the reaction of so many people regarding the AP U.S. History curriculum (APUSH). I must not have explained myself clearly. I thought everyone, or at least everyone involved in education understood the huge debate and controversy surrounding the new APUSH. To be accused of censorship? “Seriously?” That is just ridiculous. I am advocating for just the opposite. So, please let me start at the beginning…

        APUSH rejects the history that has been taught in the country for generations. It has an emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity, grievance and American-bashing [Pols emphasis] while simultaneously omitting the most basic structural and philosophical elements considered essential to the understanding of American History for generations….parents who have reviewed APUSH have been very unhappy with what their children will be taught and have lost trust in the “experts”. Please note: This is NOT a committee to review teachers, this is NOT about teachers, it is about curriculum review, which is a board’s responsibility.

        Balance and respect for traditional scholarship is NOT censorship. Again we believe that exposure to the curriculum itself, not inflammatory rhetoric; will convince most parents that a review committee is a very good idea. I humbly ask our Jeffco history teachers to review their philosophical position on the APUSH. I think the majority will be surprised to find they agree. I invite them to join us while we investigate this curriculum, together…

        Last, when it comes to history I believe all children graduating from an American school should know 3 things: American Exceptionalism, an understanding of US History, and know the Constitution."
        – See more at:



          1. It would be hilarious, if it wasn't so sad, that Elliot's defense of the Jeffco school board essencially makes the oppositions point.

            The current APUSH curriculum is grounded in giving different perspectives to historical events (for example, how the concept of 'manifest destiny' was seen by native americans and other settlers already in the western part of the US).  What Julie Williams and her ilk are trying to do is silince those perspectives in favor of an indoctrinating jingoistic approach.

            So, thank you Elliot.  I hope you are able to influence the nutjobs on the school board!

            1. Actually, that cuts the other way.  If there isn't an absolute truth for some aspects of history, the  who gets to determine which truths we are taught?  And that then brings up the more tricky point: to the extent there are truths, there are too many to fit within a lifetime to learn let alone a school year.  Who gets to determine what truths at censored out as not as important as the truths that will be taught?

              1. In a public school the community,the parents and even the students usually have a say and then there are the courts.  Asking what "truth" is and who decides, that are philosophical questions that are forever up for debate and inquiry.  The Jefferson County controversy is about the quality of the schools that the community, the parents and the students want.  It is a set of expectations that coalesce and are publicly and privately expressed, ultimately so, at the ballot box, or even from the broader community in the courts.

              2. What part of "Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage" has anything to do with truth?

                Your points may apply to an obtuse philosophical jerk-off about the five fold path to nirvana, but, in this actual case, one side (the teachers, students and college board) is about critical analysis and making up one's own mind.  The other side is about promoting their own neat and tidy version of history…



                1. And, you're missing the biggest point of all, if the school board gets its way, there will no longer be AP classes in Jeffco.

                  The fact that the school board seems blissfully unaware of this is perhaps the most damning aspect of all.

                2. Simple – because there are so many things kids can be taught, winnowing the field based on subject material that is beneficial to society can make sense. 

                  1. So you do believe that history should be taught as "beneficial" propaganda. Finally. An actual answer. A rather appalling one and one with which I'm thrilled those protesting students, angry parents and even the Denver Post editorial board disagrees, but still… an answer. Thanks Eliot. wink

                    1. Wrong again BlueCat.  I did not advocate for the teaching of FALSE things, I said that in choosing between many aspects of history that could be taught we must choose – due to time constraints – what will be taught.  And in so choosing, picking things that benefit the country makes sense.  Or we could just pay for our kids to study the history of underwater basket weavers.  Your call. 

                    2. I didn't say a thing about false things. I merely noted what you said should be the basis for choosing what to teach. Which you clearly did. You are so bad at this.

              3. Hmmm.  Let's think about this.  Who get's to determine what truths are taught?  Let's see who get's to determine if gravity gets taught.  You can't see gravity but it is commonly understood to be a universal truth.  Who gets to determine whether a participle is dangling or not.  Well there are some standards that are understood to be the core of the written English language.  As a matter of fact there are people who devote their careers to understanding and educating impressionable minds on the nuances of the English language.

                Since we're dealing with a slow one, I'll go ahead and blurt it out.  We have "experts" Elliot who don't know how to field dress a moose but have a pretty good understanding of the Scientific Method, English and History.  We call them "teachers" and "academics".  Before the arrival of the nitwit from Alaska, people recognized that "experts" were called experts because like an Iron Chef, they were incredibly skilled in their discipline.  You experts made the airplanes that you ride in and the Internet that you use daily.  They really aren't minions of the Devil because they discuss things rationally and don't rely on their "gut feelings".  You see one manifistation of the core lack of personal humility in the assumptions by asshole like you that you know more than the "experts" even though I would never ride in a plane you built.  We trust our professionals to provide insights and understanding into our cirriculum but arrogant and clueless people like Julie Williams have usurped the role of "experts" and want to usher in the age of the hack as in political hack who does the bidding of their elitist master.

                1. You are missing it.  There are three separate issues here.  

                  First of all is that some of schooling involves the teaching of normative issues.  Those issues aren't like "gravity" – there isn't a truth behind them.  

                  Second, some of schooling involves issues of opinion about a certain thing.  Take the fall of the roman empire.  What caused it?  Germanic invasions? Disease? Overwhelming bureaucracy?  Christianity?  Lead in pipes? All of these have been suggested and people will be debating it for years.  

                  Third, some of schooling involves choosing between which areas of things that everybody agrees is generally true will be taught and what won't be.  For example (and if somebody is into quark theory and wants to correct me, please do so), there isn't much debate that acceleration of gravity on earth in a vacuum is approximately 9.86 meters per second squared.   There also isn't much debate that Lebron James returned to the Cavs this summer.  One gets taught in school.  The other doesn't.  

                  1. Elliot,

                    So, your definition of a "normative issue" is scientifically proven fact, and you're OK with teaching science, correct? Or do you have some other definition of "normative issues"?

                    If you're OK with teaching science, I assume that you'll agree that if 97% of scientists see that climate change is happening and that the overwhelming likelihood is that it is human-caused, you don't have a problem with that being taught as scientific "fact" – not a theory. Same with evolution.  If you agree with the above statements, that sets you apart from the worst evangelistic curriculum- setters.

                    Second, on the issues of opinion, you're not stupid, and you've read the many people who have explained that what an AP history course is about is looking at all of the different points of view on history, and their claims about the causes and effects of events on history.  The idea is that by the time a student takes an AP class, that he/she is skilled at finding claims and evidence, fallacies of logic and rhetoric, and sorting through all of that to put together a picture of what happened.

                    Now, I know you had a tragic experience in your youth- your evil socialistic liberal teachers told you that FDR was a great man and unions helped create American prosperity, and you strongly disagree with both.  You're entitled to your own opinions, which I as an evil socialistic liberal teacher, also disagree with.

                    I don't see your beef with the AP history curriculum. You like to argue, and look at events through your own lens- AP history encourages that. Your only possible beef would be the same as Williams – are you insisting on having the ONLY allowable point of view, and that no other POV shoudl be taught? 

                    Forget AP for the moment – the better middle school teachers also use the "alternative POV" in looking at "Westward Expansion" and "Manifest Destiny". Students are expected to be able to research and argue that a state should build a railroad, from the points of view of a Native American, an Irish immigrant, a woman, a homesteading farmer, a financier. Looking at events from other people's points of view is one of the most important components of critical thinking; this is why it is taught this way.

                    Williams, I infer, would like history to be taught only in the old way, as I was taught – the only allowable POV being the victor's.  From that POV, slavery was OK because it built the South, the Mexican American war was OK because Manifest Destiny, same with decimation of Native populations,etc.

                    So answer this straightforwardly, if you please – from which points of view do you want students to view American (or any) history?


                    Your third point – well, yes, some "facts" are important, some are not. That is in fact where you want educational experts to weigh in – they have a good idea of which facts and skills are important, in which sequence they should be taught, how they build on and interrelate with each other, how applicable they are to real -world skills, etc.

                    Non- educational experts can give input, especially on which skills employers look for, but they should not have the final say on curriculum, in my (and presumably most of Jeffco parents, teachers, and students) opinions.

                    1. Just couldn't help mentioning that your "97% of scientists believe global warming is real and caused by anthropogenic activies" has been de-bunked. Why do you guys keep repeating it?

                    2. BC, I'm just guessing here that you'll not like any of these links, but the debunking is pretty well referenced in a WSJ article:


                      And a Forbes article:


                      Bottom line: we don't "do" science by concensus, but through collection and evaluation of data and forming and testing hypotheses and theories.

                      So far, the global warming theories and models are not proving accurate and those non-believers in Algore's mantra are decried by lefties as nutjobs instead of using the more traditional scientific method of reasoned argumentation and testing. Again, the ad hominem attacks are very loud and obvious and do not support reasoned thought. Thanks, again!

                    3. jpa, we've all been there done that. No use arguing with a parody. Have fun playing with someone else. You've already bored me to tears.

                    4. Cute when a Gooper links to Forbes and WSJ for 'debunking' the 'myth' of AGW/Climate Change.  But–no surprise–you are wrong on all counts.

                      There have been numerous studies  on the issue and most arrive at a number close to the 97% figure–including studies that looked at peer-reviewed studies that attributed a cause to Climate Change, another that looked at nearly 1,000 abstracts, 

                      'Consensus' in science IS the collection of evidence and the interpretation and peer-review of that.  I'm surprised you can sit up by yourself to type on the keyboard, personally.  

                  2. No Elliot, you are missing it.  

                    Most of your argument is essentially correct, there are different perspectives on causative issues in history, and, of course, not everything can be taught.  However, your conclusion is way off.  It's as though you know almost nothing about the actual issues and are just blindly supporting the side you think you should be on.  

                     The current APUSH curriculum is designed to present multiple views on what is causitive in history, and multiple views on how events affected different people and groups, without a value judgment.  The school board does not want that and only wants the 'american exceptionalism' view. 

                    This reminds me of all the supporters of the patriot act saying that it is neccesary to preserve freedom…

                  3. 1) Various possible causes for the fall of the Roman Empire should all be mentioned and probably are. I remember hearing multiple theories and being asked to discuss them way back in the olden day when I was in school.The idea that picking one is required is ridiculous.

                    2)Since none of those theories about the fall of the Roman Empire have any bearing on the directive "to promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights" nor on the directive that "materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.", your example doesn't address the crux of the matter being discussed.

                    That is should history be taught to inform, provoke thought and let the chips fall where they may or to direct students in what they're supposed to think and feel about history via snipping, cutting and whitewashing anything that might interfere with the "desired" thoughts and feelings? 

                    Even editorial page editor Carroll at the Post, no liberal, thinks the latter is what what the directive calls for and that it's a very bad idea. I agree. You apparently don't.

                    Judging from the many letters supporting my view and the very few supporting yours (it's been about a 75%/25% split), most Post readers also agree. It would appear that the board is backing down on the directive so they apparently realize that a few apologists aren't going to be enough in the face of such stiff opposition. But good try, Fladen.

                    1. Der Fladermaus

                      He's the defender GOP nutjobs deserve, but he's not the defender they need

            2. Elliot is an apologist. Don't expect him to directly address any points you raise or any facts or evidence you might bring to bear to back up your points. Eliot simply defends, evades, changes the subject to some look over there or other and finds endless excuses for righties. 

              Take it from someone who has attempted to have discussions in which points are exchanged, questions asked and answered with slippery Eliot for ages.  It's never going to happen. 

              Eliot always works backwards from the premise that whatever the rightie said or did must be perfectly OK and any objections expressed by anyone on the other side must have no merit. Period. He only makes exceptions for issues that affect him personally in a negative way such as the rightie stand on immigration since he has an immigrant wife.  He uses these rare and tiny departures from the Borg to argue that he is indeed an independent thinker.

              Just don't expect any independent thinking where the Tea Party line doesn't conflict with his own personal interests. That's our Eliot.

              1. BC, just because I choose not to go down your rabbit hole tangents does not make me an apologist.  I do find your repeated willingness to make a personal attack at the earliest opportunity – whether warranted or not – quite telling.  Not to mention exhausting, which is why I hadn't commented here in a while. 

                  1. Speak for yourself. I like arguing with Elliot. I don't blame him for not wanting to post here more – lots of people claim to be able to read his mind nd predict his responses to any and all questions –  so they'll ask and answer a question for him in one comment. Keep in mind that EF is fiscally conservative /libertarian, but socially liberal.

                    1. The vast majority of posters here don't have the fondness for Elliot that you have, MJ; as a result, we're not as quick to overlook his deflections and mealy-mouthed defenses of vile racist crap from the right-wingers he wishes to curry favor with. I'm all for reaching across the aisle with reasonable people, but Elliot has proven time and again that his sense of right and wrong has a lot more to do with political capital than any claims of conservatism, liberalism, or independence from either. 

                    2. Not exactly. More like completely inconsistent. He is not pro-choice. He basically supports the entire rightie menu except on immigration and maybe marrriage equality but he still acts as an apologist for every rightie pretty much no matter what. And it's not our fault he's so completely predictable. Are we supposed to pretend we aren't completely familiar with his combination of apologist excuses and evasions? 

                      And, by the way. The people who are calling themselves Libertarians today aren't. For one thing, an anti-choice Libertarian is an oxymoron. Mainly, the 21st century brand of self styled Libertarians are just morons, period.

                    3. fiscally conservative /libertarian, but socially liberal. 

                      Self identified. I like to think I'm really good looking and funny.  But me claiming the description is not necessarily the same as me being something.

                      I agree EF is something of an apologist- true fiscal conservative would never have tied supported a President who debt financed two wars.


                    4. Sounds a lot more like you than like Fladen, JB. Also it is definitely necessary to read your comments to know what they will say.

                    5. Rape apologism is not social liberalism.  He's a boys will be boys kind of guy, MJ.  Unforgivable for me.  I don't claim to read his mind, and I don't want to get all bent out of shape looking up his "there are degrees of rape" comments.  Oh and MJ, I was speaking for myself and a few others on the site who have told EF to go away.  I would never presume to speak for you.

                1. My comments have all been directly addressed to the issues raised in this diary. Hardly tangential but then you've always had your own definition of "tangents". When you don't want to address a point raised with a direct, relevant response, you call it a "tangent". The funny thing is that you then almost always go off on a genuine tangent to avoid the issue.  Priceless.  laugh

                  1. Um, yeah, Azure Feline – excepting the rabbit holes you've thrown about when you didn't get the responses for which it appears you were hoping. Other than that, sure…

          2. No. I posted a link to "Every Man His Own Historian" by Carl Becker a while back.  It was required reading in a graduate level history class.  I wouldn' t be surprised if it wasn't introduced, or something like it, in the AP history classes.  It's worth a look up if you haven't already read it.  But you probably have, or again, something like it.  AP history is about not just history, but also critically evaluating sources and viewpoints and Becker addresses that.  The vagaries of human nature affect every thing we do.  



    1. Nope – homeschooling is rising in use as are the increased numbers of alternatives to the failing leftist controlled educrat-run schools. The one thing missing in this discussion that will really improve our school systems and childrens education is increased parental involvement.

  11. I understand huge numbers of students showed up along with parents as well, including one of my coworkers children. That is great.  I live in Arvada and was very happy to see how many students protested at Arvada, Arvada West, Pomona and Ralston Valley yesterday (and at the other high schools over the last three days!). 

  12. I have to wonder what possessed them to trot out this turd right before a key election.  Even the half-wits know enough to wait until after an election to try extreme tactics.  They could cost Colorado Republicans some key races and are seemingly oblivious to their ill-timed propaganda efforts.

    1. GG — I'm afraid the Koch machine knows exactlly what it's doing bringing this up right before elections.  Look at the way most of us Dems are praising the obviousness and righteousness of the student cause (which, to be clear, I think it is).  The attitudes expressed here reinforce the notion of the smug elitest Dem.  That's a talking point Coffman is running on in his race against Romanoff, so it's on message.  More than that, it creates a sense of self-satisfaction among Dems that, as one headline ran "the kids are alright."  Progress is on our side.  We'll win.  We just have to wait things out.

      None of that is going to drive Dems to the polls this fall, and most of these activist kids are too young to vote.  On the other hand, images of kids protesting the free market and respect for authority are EXACTLY what the Kochs need to drive the Republican base (senior citizens) out to the polls this fall.  It pulls on emotional romantic longings for a bygone America, not logic, and it sends a strong message that what this country needs is the sort of strong authrority figures that Rs champion.  I know Gardner and Beauprez hardly fit that mold from an objective analysis, but if you're a Republican, they're the strong fathers these wayward kids need.

      In a state where races for Senate can be decided by one vote per precinct, if this sort of rabble rousing draws one more aged voter to the polls to save America's youth from the clutches of liberalism, we'll have a lot bigger problems here in Colorado that whether JeffCo Schools can offer AP US History.  We'll have a state, and federal government that will actually be legislating history in a reactionary direction.  

      Progressives need to stop celebrating this rightwing dogwhistle now, and get back to focusing on getting young women out to vote.

      1. Interesting points, but the Teabags already have their sick, twisted, racist base all hopped up to get out and vote. This move does nothing, in my opnion, to increase those numbers, and may very well, I believe, amp up more Dems to vote agaisnt the Koch machine this time. By this stunt, the JeffCo Teabags have been stipped naked of all pretense, and are now seen for precisely the malignant, malevolent, nefarious political force they are.

        1. DP — what part of this drives Dems to the polls?  Progressives are excited to see kids up and protesting, but I don't see how this adds up to votes for Udall.  Dems who belive that the "JeffCo Teabags have been stripped naked of all pretense" don't sound like likely voters to me. I think it's assuming a lot to think they'll come out to Koch block the "Nefarious political force they are."

      2. "EXACTLY what the Kochs need to drive the Republican base (senior citizens) out to the polls this fall."

        So the barbarians are at the gate and it turns out that they are the grandchildren of the GOP base.

          1. Good points. However there will be universal mail ballots this time so we'll have to see how that affects voting scenarios. How many of the lazier and younger portion of the Dem electorate will vote this time because it's much easier? Stay tuned.

        1. and so I am guessing you have completely isolated yourself from taking part in any socialistic activities…driving on our public roads and such?

          I have been reading your comments for a while now…welcome to pols. I guess I should tell you your myopia and misguided use of right wing talking points leads me to believe you are pretty young…college age, maybe?

           You strike me as a Milton Freidman acolyte…would that be a fair assessment?



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