Jeffco school board critics must face some painful facts
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#1 Mar 28, 2014
Coyne ignores the fact that even the CDE acknowledges major flaws with the tenth-grade math TCAP. It assumes students started algebra in eighth grade rather than freshman year and that they have knowledge of advanced algebra and trigonometry. It puts students who start algebra their freshman year at a disadvantage despite the fact that they're not behind in any way.
As far as remedial classes go, that also is an overblown statistic. Note that students who attend private or out-of-state colleges are not included. What this means is that many of our strongest students--who won scholarships to private or out-of-state schools due to excellent academic performance, aren't counted. Skimming off the best and brightest means the percentage of remedial students will necessarily be larger, but it doesn't make that number more significant, as Coyne wants to argue. That remedial number may also include students who've taken time off between high school and college or Jeffco grads who are now returning to college for a second career after having spent some time in the workforce. Perhaps Coyne thinks everyone's foreign language or advanced algebra skills remain untouched after years spent not using those skills in a different career, but you and I know that if we returned to college today, there would be some areas in which we're a little "rusty" and would need to brush up those skills. This is not a failure of Jeffco Schools.
Please note that these are the words of a man who tried to discredit the recent Jeffco community budget survey, a survey that received more than 13,000 responses from the Jeffco community. A majority of those who responded identified themselves as parents. Coyne's response was to suggest that somewhere "between 1 and 13,000" people took it because the limits on the survey were not enough for his tastes (he also claimed that no restrictions had been put on how many times one could take the survey, but he was mistaken; his insinuation that there may have been survey fraud was conclusively disproven in an IT analysis), and to insinuate that some sort of political movement was behind the responses. My response to Coyne is this: PARENTS CARE ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. We have concerns about what the new board members have said, and we wanted to make sure our voices were heard too. Stop discounting us or trying to silence our voices. I am neither uneducated nor ignorant, and I certainly know better than you what will best benefit the education of my two children.
There are areas in which Jeffco can improve, but Coyne's continued failure to acknowledge any of those while pretending that budget cuts won't have an effect is both ignorant and dangerous. Perhaps the real answer will come this summer when we see the scores for the third graders who took the TCAP for the first time this spring. These third graders are the first Jeffco students to begin their K-12 schooling with much lower per-pupil spending and larger class sizes than the students who preceded them. They've seen larger class sizes than in previous years, less instructional support from paraprofessionals and special education teachers, and in some cases had their school librarian (and access to the school library) reduced as those librarians were cut to half-time. Jeffco's public libraries have also reduced their hours and availability during this same time--which is a double-whammy for these students who've been working on their reading skills during these four years. Coyne doesn't address them because he doesn't know what their outcomes will be. Perhaps they will persevere, and if so, we need to credit their teachers for the amazing work they've done despite it all. And if not, the only failure will be on the part of adults like Coyne.
#2 Mar 28, 2014
ADDITIONALLY, Jeffco like to brag about all their John Irwin Award winning schools as well as number of others that have received the Governor's improvement award, but expanding on the author's facts there isn't a single one of those schools that has even the District's average of F&R or even minority students, let alone having a great rforming school that has both. Most of those top performing, "award winning schools" have far below the District's average of F&R and minority students.
In fact since the awards have been given out, I believe there is only one Jeffco school that has so performed and that was a Montessori charter school in its first year of operation.
Evidently Jeffco's motto of "Building bright futures" doesn't apply to all students.
Compounding the incompetence or maybe even negligence, in the center of metro Jeffco, where some of the worst performing schools are, there are no back-basics, fundamental, classical education - whatever you want to call them - charter schools so parents can have an option of getting their children out of Jeffco's educational gulags.
On the other hand, Jeffco sends its buses to the upper income parts of the county, where there are already really good schools (and very few F&R or minority children), to pick up students to take them to their top performing option schools demonstrating that building bright futures isn't even provided equally. The previous superintendent and board should be ashamed of themselves and Jeffco residents and parents should be outraged.
#3 Mar 28, 2014
The survey was totally flawed and it is obvious to anybody that an inordinate amount of Jeffco teachers and administrative personnel responded twice - as an employee and as a "parent" - whether they actually are or not.
Jeffco has failed to adequately educate ALL students.
#5 Mar 29, 2014
A 12-year-old gboy has acknowledged he was filmed taking a shower on a cellphone camera a Pennsylvania middle school.
The incident happened earlier this month in the boyss locker room at William Penn Middle School.
The assistant principal Phil asked to see MaltaMon's phone and found the video. The physical education teacher confirmed the identity of the boys in the video after viewing it.
MaltaMon was arrested on suspicion of intrusion of privacy and has been released on his own recognizance.
Why in the world is MaltaMon filming boys showering at school? What the kid did was erotic, but at the same time, in the years I was at school, I was never in the position to even SEE a teacher filming other boys showering. Thank god! Wow... weird story.
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