Dougco Letter Tells Jeffco What to Expect Next with AP Courses

united_we_stand_floor_graphicJCSBW NOTE: This is a letter sent to us by a Douglas County parent who wishes to remain anonymous.
We did some research on the subject matter of this post for you to keep in mind as you read.  Concurrent classes at CCU (Colorado Christian University) are NOT a replacement for AP.  Yes, your child may receive credits that may or may not transfer to colleges and universities, but top universities are not looking for that.   (https://www.calcareercenter.org/Home/Content?contentID=174; http://www.wikihow.com/Get-into-College; http://www.collegeplanningsimplified.com/HighlySelective.html)  They are looking for SAT, ACT, AP, and IB.  Eliminating AP courses from DougCo is giving would give every DougCo student who wants to attend a Tier 1 university an automatic first strike.
We DO NOT want that for them or our JeffCo students but given the direction this board is heading, it is all too likely this will also become our reality.
In other words, we expect to eventually see the elimination of not just AP U.S. History but all AP courses in JeffCo Schools in favor of CCU credits.
Letter from DougCo parent:

While students are rightly concerned about curriculum revisionism in the Jefferson County school district, here in Douglas County we’re already seeing what the next steps may be.

On October 7th, the Douglas County Board of Education in Castle Rock held a working session with no public input allowed.  Board member Geddes openly suggested that the standard AP history curriculum may be replaced by that of Colorado Christian University (CCU), a private religious school in Lakewood.  Whether this would be done strictly through concurrent enrollment (CE) credits or by adding additional high school classes has been hotly debated in Facebook forums, as the school board members seemed intentionally vague regarding details on a possible implementation plan.

According to CCU’s own documentation, this was already implemented in at least six county public high schools earlier in the school year without notice.  They also offer concurrent enrollment credits at several other metro area high schools outside of Douglas County.

http://www.ccu.edu/uploadedFiles/Pages/Academics/Undergraduate_Programs/DCHS_Master.pdf

It is worth noting that William Armstrong, the president of Colorado Christian University, gave each of the four DCSD reform candidates $1,000.00 in last year’s hotly contested school board election.  Now the school board is needlessly responding in kind by allowing CCU to charge $200 per student per CE class for CCU credits that may not even be accepted anywhere else other than CCU itself.  While this seems like quite a departure from the methodology of traditional AP credits, it also questions the legality of using public funds to subsidize the recruitment of public high school students by a private religious school that openly discriminates in choosing who to accept for enrollment based on religious identity and sexual orientation.

Here is an example of Chaparral High School, a Douglas County public school, already advertising for CCU courses:

http://schools.dcsdk12.org/education/staff/staff.php?sectiondetailid=211776

Some parents also reported last week on Facebook that their children received advertising materials for CCU that were distributed at their high school.

Because of the local news media refusal to cover this story, Facebook discussions have been the most useful in trying to understand details from parents who were at the October 7th meeting or have knowledge of what is happening in their children’s local high schools.

Here are some very informative discussions on “SPEAK for DCSD” regarding controversial aspects of the DCSD and CCU partnership:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=612819068844743&id=113649758761679

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=613087458817904&id=113649758761679

https://www.facebook.com/113649758761679/photos/a.158831090910212.32775.113649758761679/613086825484634/?type=1

Here are a couple of similarly useful discussions on the “Involved Douglas County Teachers and Citizens” page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dc4publicedu/permalink/10152413063437918/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/dc4publicedu/permalink/10152416901542918/

(This is a closed group, but some JeffCo groups already have access.)

The Douglas County Federation (teachers union) Twitter feed on the night of October 7th recounts how board member Geddes equates the CCU History curriculum with that of the standard AP History one, asking if DCSD public school teachers would qualify to be credentialed by CCU requirements.

https://twitter.com/Dougcofed

You can view some public reactions on Twitter from Tuesday night regarding the CCU class being proposed to replace the AP History class:

https://twitter.com/HeatherMRiggs/status/519687504379666432

https://twitter.com/HeatherMRiggs/status/519700553123635200

There will be a DCSD accountability meeting at the PACE center in Parker on Tuesday night, October 14th, at 7 p.m.  This is a rare event to observe and interact with all the major DCSD board opposition and accountability groups participating.  This meeting was only announced a few days ago, but if someone from each of the JeffCo groups could attend to make some connections with the parent groups who oppose the school board, it may be mutually well worth our time.  If we can stop what is happening in DougCo, perhaps the worst of it will never even reach JeffCo.

More meeting info here:

http://cac4dcsd.org/2014/10/06/concerns-accountability-leads-community-forum/

Grass roots groups opposing the DCSD school board privatization agenda or otherwise generally seeking district accountability:

Strong Schools Coalition

http://strongschoolscoalition.org/

(Video of the October 7th school board meeting can be viewed at http://strongschoolscoalition.org/news-events/video-library/)

Douglas County Parents

http://douglascountyparents.com/

Taxpayers for Public Education

http://www.taxpayersforpubliceducation.org/

Community Accountability Committee for Douglas County School District

http://cac4dcsd.org/

Voices for Public Education

https://www.facebook.com/VoicesForPublicEducation

It seems logical that the opposition in our two counties is stronger united than separate.  For the sake of our children’s education and that of future generations, we must prevail.

DougCo & JeffCo Stand United

(Anonymous Douglas County Parent)

6 thoughts on “Dougco Letter Tells Jeffco What to Expect Next with AP Courses

  1. Typically a student at CCU has to sign a statement written by CCU concerning religious beliefs. I wonder if that will be applied in this situation?

  2. It is unbelievable to me that DougCo families aren’t out in the streets pitching a fit about this!? I can only imagine what a tactic such as this would unleash in Jeffco!

  3. This violates the Colorado Constitution Blaine Amendment. You need to contact the Justice Dept, or perhaps your Governors office or Mayor and have this stopped.

    Colorado Constitution Section 7 (The Blaine Amendment)
    Section 7. Aid to private schools, churches, sectarian purpose, forbidden. Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian society, or for any sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever; nor shall any grant or donation of land, money or other personal property, ever be made by the state, or any such public corporation to any church, or for any sectarian purpose.
    http://scionmancer.blogspot.com/2014/10/jeffco-school-board-vs-blaine-i-got-one.html

    Contact ACLU as well. They are already interested in what is going on with this area.
    http://aclu-co.org/academic-freedom-groups-oppose-deeply-problematic-jefferson-county-curriculum-review-proposal/

  4. I agree with Mr. Hefley’s comment. Please note that there is a precedent for legal cases preventing the introduction of textbooks with religious references in public schools. Not only are these books violating the Colorado State Constitution, but they violate the First Ammendment to the United States Constitution, as well.

    I refer you to the case of Kitzmiller vs the Dover, Pennsylvania Area School Dictrict in 2005, where a local school board attempted to introduce a biology textbook teaching “intelligent design”, which is a thinly veiled form of creationism. . Judge John E. Jones III stated that: teaching intelligent design as science in public school violated the First Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits public officials from using their positions to impose or establish a particular religion.

    There is even a PBS special on the case (which by the way, my daughter in Lakewood HS had to watch in her biology class this year!!!): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

  5. This information is frightening

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