By Pat Crowley
Parent of DCSD Graduates, Community Member
April 3, 2014
Denver Post Your Hub
Andy Rooney often began his broadcasts with “did you ever wonder why?”
This phrase has been surfacing in my thoughts lately regarding our schools in Douglas County. Did you ever wonder why a school district needs to advertise itself in local papers and hire a public relations firm? The obvious answer would be to improve its tarnished reputation, but why is this occurring? Why have we allowed this to happen?
Did you ever wonder why neighborhood elementary schools are compelled to have a “niche” and marketing plan? How does this improve learning? How much money is spent on implementing and then marketing these concepts? Why are our schools competing instead of cooperating with each other? Why did we need to create a new administrative position of “Director of Choice”? I know of no research that indicates schools or teaching improves when they compete with each other.
Did you ever wonder why the school board hired a superintendent that had only three years of teaching experience and makes $307,000 including benefits a year? Did you ever wonder why the same superintendent is still on the job even after losing the respect of many of the principals, teachers and parents and was embroiled in violating Fair Campaign Practices in the last school board election?
The only answer I can come up with is that our district is being run by people who do not believe in public education and are engaging in a grand experiment with the children, parents and educators of Douglas County. They have no regard for the opinions of the parents, teachers or community members who are questioning their actions and are even refusing to survey the teachers and parents directly affected by their actions and have further limited public comment at school board meetings.
We as a community must rise up and say “enough”. The grand experiment is failing and must be stopped. We, as a community must reclaim our once renowned school system. Over 60,000 students’ educations are at stake. As a result of these reforms, current Douglas County children are NOT receiving the same high quality education that mine did just 8 years ago. The time to act is now. Attend a school board meeting, email school board members, become involved. I fear it will be too late if we wait for the next school board election.