Jeffco Parent Provides Feedback

From: Wendy McCord <>
To: McMinimee Dan M <>; Jeffco Schools Board of Education <>
Sent: Wed, Jan 21, 2015 5:12 pm

Dear Dan,

I’m writing to provide you with my feedback, as you requested in yesterday’s email to parents regarding testing and goals. 
First of all, your comment about being “distracted by disruptive outside forces” was completely unnecessary. The real disruptive forces that are threatening to destroy our students’ successes (and public education) are themselves on the Board of Education and sit immediately to your left at the Board table. 
Many in the community agree that there is too much testing of our children. I have met with Dr. Morgan, and I know that she is working within the parameters of state and federal law to ensure that this changes in the future. What the BOE majority did at the last meeting was (1) act in clear and direct violation of their own polices (nothing new there) and (2) waste taxpayer time and money on a waiver request that cannot legally be granted, according to the State Commissioner. 
The Board majority refuses to act on the very real issues of over-crowding and new enrollments, yet you did not mention this to parents – and it is something extremely important of which the community needs to be made aware. 
The district hired a Chief Communications Officer who has strong political ties to groups with which the Board majority are affiliated and who has zero experience in public education (which was listed as a requirement in the job listing that I saw). There has been no official introduction that I recall seeing to share with parents the senior member of staff who is in now charge of complying with Colorado Open Records Act requests. A very worrying issue, to be sure. And I wonder what connections she has to the current BOE majority, other than participating in a partisan political institute to which Newkirk and Witt are both connected. 
The district is shifting to Student Based Budgeting, which will leave MANY of our smaller neighborhood schools struggling to make ends meet. Many highly distinguished and high-achieving schools will be hand-cuffed though this process, and it will be our children who suffer. You didn’t mention this to parents, either.
I had hoped that you would take a stand for the public education of Jeffco’s students. That you would ensure that BOE majority followed not only their own policies but the laws that govern you all, as well. But I see that this is not, in fact, the case. Rather, you continue to do the BOE majority’s bidding. Instead of providing clear and balanced information to parents, you are preparing propaganda to support the BOE majority’s idealogical positions, and not in any way acting in the best interests of our children. I am gravely disappointed with the direction of Jeffco public schools. And neither you, nor the Board majority, are taking any action that I can see having a positive impact on my children’s education. And yet that is your purpose. 
You asked for feedback – it would be nice if you actually took the community’s concerns to heart and began to represent our children and our teachers. It is clear 2015 will NOT be a great year for public education in Jeffco. I fear for the future.
Wendy R. McCord