How to Dismantle a School District in 10 Steps

Oct 6th, 2015 | By | Category: Schools

DismantelThis article gives many reasons to elect the 3 people who will restore DC Schools to their past Quality.

Your Voice: How to dismantle a school district in 10 steps

Posted by Kelly on September 28, 2015 in Castle Rock Education, Castle Rock Government, Centennial Education, Centennial Government, Douglas County, Douglas County Education, Douglas County Government, Douglas County Opinion, Highlands Ranch, Highlands Ranch Education, Highlands Ranch Government, Highlands Ranch Opinion, Jefferson County Education, Lone Tree, Lone Tree Education, Lone Tree Government, Lone Tree Opinion, Parker, Parker Education, Parker Opinion, Roxborough, Roxborough Education, Roxborough Opinion | 4137 Views | 13 Responses

In 2009, a group of politicians, wealthy businessmen, and a subset of our current Board of Education members met and decided that Douglas County School District (DCSD) would ‘Reinvent Education’.   This was decided despite the fact that DCSD was a high-performing, destination district.   This was decided without community, parent, or DCSD staff input.  This was a business deal.  Shortly thereafter, Board of Education members were elected using large campaign contributions from a few individuals who reside outside Douglas County.

Following that election, the new Board of Education (BOE):

  1. Hired a Superintendent who is a speaker for the Friedman Foundation (a group that believes in privatizing education) with very little experience and offered her one of the highest Superintendent salaries in the nation ($269,670/year, plus bonus and benefits).
  2. Wasted significant resources in attempting to implement a private and religious school Voucher Program that has been deemed unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court.
  3. Implemented experimental initiatives, such as pay for performance and market based pay, many of which have proven to fail in education.
  4. Increased PR expenses by 2000 percent in order to fool the public into thinking that their reforms were working.
  5. Spent millions on reform initiatives while refusing to budget or track their actual costs.
  6. Increased fees to parents for buses, athletics, and the arts while increasing the number of upper administrators and increasing their pay.
  7. Took cuts to the high schools that forced many students to be part-time, reported those students as full-time, and are now faced with paying back $4.2 million to the state of Colorado, while simultaneously posting a $17 million operating surplus.
  8. Ruled the district through force and intimidation, causing morale to plummet and turnover to increase.
  9. Asked for community and parent input on a possible bond initiative, ignored their feedback, and refused to develop a long term plan to maintain taxpayer assets/school buildings.
  10. Lost the trust of staff, parents, and community members, which has polarized our community.

As a result of these changes, Douglas County School District is no longer the highest performing district in the Denver metro area and is rapidly losing its reputation as a destination district.

We still have good schools, but they are not as strong as they used to be.  Parents no longer feel empowered, teachers are not recognized as professionals, and taxpayer money is spent on district pet projects instead of in classrooms.  Most concerning is that the BOE is only beholden to those outside individuals who got them elected, rather than acting transparently and in the interest of everyone within Douglas County.  What will happen if our district continues on this path?

There are three pro-public education candidates running for school board in the upcoming mail-in ballot election. These individuals will restore educational opportunities, manage tax dollars wisely, and give a voice (as well as hope) to our parents, community, and teachers.  We need to reclaim our district.  The reforms are NOT working.  Vote for Lemieux, Ray, and Vogel.

 

About the Author

 

Kelly

DougCo parent of two kids.

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