Non Responsiveness Makes People Angry

Dear JeffCo Board of Education:
 
 
I am in shock.  I am concerned.  Things have gone from bad to worse, thanks to this Board majority. I am a Mom and so very glad that I am not employed by JeffCo Public Schools. Having you as the decision making body for these employees is truly frightening.  Furthermore, having your poor decisions impacting so negatively the very people who are responsible for turning my children into life long learners infuriates me.  And if something doesn’t change, my family will be forced to decide whether we will remain in Jefferson County or not. 
 
 
Witt, Newkirk, and Williams, please find for me a business that operates as you have:
– not listening to the wants or needs of their clients, YOUR COMMUNITY and YOUR EMPLOYEES.  
– totally disregarding surveys asking for your clients’ input on a superintendent(CEO)
– totally disregarding surveys asking for your clients’ opinions on which programs to fund
– totally disregarding promises made in prior years to reimburse your employees for cuts they have taken in the past
– funding Charter Schools (8% of population), ignoring the funding for the rest
– Ignoring national and local data educating you on how to help solve problems of poverty by being proactive and funding FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN for the lower income kids…already a line item for next year.
– granting loans to financially failing institutions (charter)
 
 
Find one business for me, or better yet a BOARD of Directors  out there,  who acts this irresponsibly and let’s talk.  If you fashion yourselves as a CEO, CIO, or COO; go ahead and find  leaders of corporations out there who act as carelessly and irresponsibly as you have- outlined in my past three letters.  Even though I vehemently oppose education being treated as a business or compared to business, there is no successful business that treats their employees and clients as disrespectfully as you have.  If you disagree, please find an example and lets talk.
  
 
Why do you think it is OK  to completely disregard the opinions of the taxpayers of JeffCo?.  Why do you think it is OK to ignore the professional opinions of the people who work for this District, from teachers to administrators; you have listened to nobody.  You are completely ignoring the wants and the needs of the people who make JeffCo Public Schools a top notch PUBLIC School System; YOUR EMPLOYEES.  The teachers and administrators in this District deserve more.  You are NOT serving them and you are NOT serving our children.  
 
 
I am very concerned about your “solo finalist” (is there such a thing, one finalist?) for the position of our Superintendent.  I was under the impression that you hired Ray and Associates to do a nation wide search for a reason, paying them $40,000 of our taxpayer dollars.  They gave you 60 fully vetted applicants from this search.  Granted, we all know that the best and brightest would not apply because of all the turmoil you have generated these past 5 months, who in their right mind would be interested unless they were interested in your hidden agenda.  But we were all led to believe that you would select, at the very least, 2-6 finalists on Saturday.  We were all hopeful that you would show this community and the JeffCo employees that you are capable of taking professional advice, you are capable of  turning to those who know and understand the ins and outs of public education, which you clearly do not, and take their advice.
 
 
From November to now, Mr. Witt, I have heard you say over and over  that you know nothing about DougCo and have no intention for this District to be like  Dougco or DPS.  How could you possibly think anyone believes a word you say anymore, as you have hired the same lawyer for your BOE AND have hired the DougCo  Assistant Superintendent.  How could you possibly choose a Douglas County assistant Superintendent?  Seriously.  Your word means absolutely nothing.  I am a parent.  I demand accountability on your part Jeffco BOE.  I want to know WHY you chose him.  I want to see Mr. McMinimee’s  track record.  I want to see your other top finalists’ resumes and understand why you chose him over the them.
 
 
With this appointment, am I to understand that you, the JeffCo BOE endorse the actions of the DougCo BOE?  I want an answer to this, I want you to be clear..  If the answer is YES, do you plan to follow in their footsteps?  Please answer.  How do you plan to make sure there is NOT A MASS EXODUS of teachers as there was in Douglas County?  Do you care that this will happen? If you do care, please share with me how you plan to ensure OUR teachers and STAFF that you are going to treat them as professionals and value what they do.  You need a plan of action for this because your actions are demoralizing to them.  Your actions show no interest in their professional opinion, or the hard work they do.  Your actions clearly show them and everyone else you don’t know a thing about what happens in the classroom or the important role teachers play.   You have done absolutely NOTHING but bully them, we have a zero tolerance for this in our schools, but NOT on our BOE- what a joke.  Your poor decisions are completely distracting to a teacher, they shouldn’t have to be worried about your next inane decisions that you make that are detrimental to their livelihood and their ability to educate their students.   
 
 
I want to know if you intend to go down the path that Dougco Public Schools have gone down.  Be transparent and honest. Let me be clear:  I do  NOT SUPPORT having my taxpayer dollars spent for vouchers or implementation of any corporate reform agenda which supports privatization of Public Education….. and I do not know ANYBODY who feels differently than me.  So why don’t you be straight with your community, let us know what your plan is.  Be transparent so we can do what we need to do to ensure our children are in a stable situation where teachers are valued and supported.  We love our teachers, Jeffco Schools and will not let the above happen.  
 
 
Excuse my tone in this email.  If I sound angry, I am.  This is my fourth letter to you and I have, as of yet, to get a response that addresses ANY of my concerns.  Mr. Newkirk, your response last month did not answer any of my concerns.  It was almost as if it was a general response to every email you have received.  This is NOT OK.  Once again your non-action speaks volumes when you do not bother to respond thoughtfully to the concerns of a community member. or anyone wanting explanations for your decisions.   
 
 
Sincerely-
 
Ali Lasell