Don’t pin letters to the board, please respond to the questions

When one asks a question, one typically expects to receive an answer and/or a dialogue.    When the Jeffco Administrations Association originally sent a letter to the board, many questions were asked of the board –


The response that this well-respected group received was astonishing:


Dear Mr. Long and Members of JCAA,

Members of the Board of Education received a copy of your March 19 email correspondence regarding Mr. Witt’s invitation for Jeffco administrators to provide questions for the Board of Education instead of scheduling a study session.

I appreciate the effort you’ve made to consolidate these questions and issues into a single, focused document. I have personally printed your letter and have tacked it to my desk for ongoing reference and guidance as to how we may best meet our goals. I look forward to working with the JCAA and as well our district administrators in this regard.

Thank you for writing to the Board to share your perspective on our work.


John J. Newkirk

Secretary, Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education


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Click here to see the full  JCAA Response


We have a hard time with an elected official believing that this is an appropriate response to the questions submitted:


• How will the Board of Education enable, support and launch new initiatives while creating a competitivecompensation plan which supports staff career growth while building effectiveness in our teachers and leaders?

• What role does the Board of Education see for central administration in supporting schools?

• How will the Board of Education support the district’s schools in their ongoing work of providing high quality instruction and positive achievement trends considering the unfunded mandates of the last four years?

• How will the Board of Education use the staff’s educational expertise to make decisions which best support ALL students?

• What supports for administrators (i.e., achievement directors, assistant principals, instructional coaches, peer evaluators, etc.) will the Board of Education employ to help administrators be effective leaders?

• How will the Board of Education seek input from parents, teachers, administrators, students and support staff on decisions?

• What makes a “successful school”? What steps will the Board of Education take to support neighborhood schools in their work to meet the needs of their students through curricular and program choices?

• What role will the Board of Education take in recruiting, retaining and developing highly effective school and district staff?

• How does the Board of Education define student achievement? What steps are needed to accomplish that definition?

• How will the Board of Education support continued collaboration among different stakeholder groups to do what is best for kids?

• How will Charter Schools / Schools of Innovation be implemented? Will the Board of Education use a rubric to evaluate applications? If so, what will it look like? Will all neighborhood students living within the charter or school of innovation’s boundaries be allowed to attend or will the Board allow limited access? If not, how will access be determined?


Our suggestion – don’t tack board correspondence to your desk to look at as a philosophical ponderance, take the time to answer the questions asked of the board.   Show our Jeffco staff a bit more respect than this type of response.