11/3 Halloween Tricks, Monday Do List, & Thursday BoE Meeting Prep

20100830193250!The_ScreamHalloween is over and in a very late posting of the agenda, we have found numerous Halloween ‘tricks’ from WNW+M3 for District students and teachers at large with treats only for a favored few.

We review their mainly “Trick” agenda below.

But first, the Monday Do List!

Monday ‘Do’ List:

  1. VOTE!
  2. Get all of your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, strangers on the street to VOTE!
  3. If someone is not registered to vote, let them know they can (and should) register at a Voting Service Center and vote the same day!
  4. If you are not sure where to drop off your ballot, or where you nearest Early Voting or Election Day Voting location is, please check out the Google Map we created to help you find where you need to go!  Jefferson County Voting Locations
  5. Review our new “Groups Opposing WNW’s Agenda” page. Pick one group and contact them, asking how you can help.
  6. After you are done with items 1-5 above, review the Meeting Prep below and make plans to attend this Board meeting.
  7. Sign up to speak at the meeting!  We will post the link to sign up as soon as it goes live at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning.  The links went live at 10:20 a.m. this morning. Here is the link to speak on an Agenda Item (see our list below for Below are some subjects worth speaking out on that cry out for Public Comment).  Here is the link to speak on non-Agenda Items.  Sign up quick!

    Agenda Items That Need Public Comment:

  • Agenda Item 5.13 – New Chief Legal Counsel/ HR Relations:  Why does Craig Hess have absolutely NO school district experience?  How on earth is he qualified?
  • Agenda Item 6.01 – Alexandria School of Innovation Charter School Application:  Why would the Board approve of a Charter school whose application is so flawed it did not even use the right District name throughout its application?  And will be run by a for-profit company that got tossed out of the other school it created?
  • Agenda Item 6.02 – Golden View Classical Charter School Application:  How many exemptions are too many?  And why do they fear parents so much that they made sure that parents can never take control of the Board?
  • Agenda Item 6.04 – Superintendent Goals:  How about some genuine goals on the order of the ones found here:  10/15 Post – Why Tomorrow’s BOE Meeting Will Probably Be Interesting…
  • Agenda Item 7.01 – Hiring a Canadian company that specializes in Canadian municipal surveys to survey JeffCo on Education Spending?  Huh????
  • Agenda Item 7.02 – Curriculum Review Committee – Why is the Board ignoring the Denver Post, the Dallas Morning News, even the Caspar Star-Tribune and is going ahead with this censorship/indoctrination review committee?

 BOE Thursday Meeting Prep:
When: Thursday November 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: 5th Floor Board Room, Education Center, 1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. 27, Golden
(If you cannot attend, please watch via live video stream at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/JeffcoBoardRoom)

Key Agenda Items
Agenda Item 1.02:  Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) Discussion
Type: Discussion (estimated duration: 1 hour)
PRESENTING STAFF: Dr. Syna Morgan, chief academic officer, Dr. Carol Eaton, executive director, Instructional Data, Educational Research and Design
PURPOSE: For the Board of Education to receive information regarding the results of the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) testing on Science and Social Studies.
BACKGROUND: The new Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests in science and social studies show that Jeffco students are exceeding the state averages in both subject areas according to results released by the Colorado Department of Education on October 27, 2014.

The CMAS tests measure student performance in a new way on the more rigorous Colorado Academic Standards and set a baseline for Colorado students.
The new tests measure performance against higher expectations for students and are given online for the first time.

Student performance falls into one of four categories in the CMAS assessment:  1) distinguished command, 2) strong command, 3) moderate command, and 4) limited command instead of the TCAP achievement categories of unsatisfactory, partially proficient, proficient, and advanced.

Attachments: CMAS_The New Baseline.pdf (1,997 KB)

Our Comments: Basically, this is the results of CMAS test.  The big change seems to be in the classification terminology, i.e., no more ‘partially proficient’, but instead ‘moderate command’.  Slides include comparison against state averages (where JeffCo is better in all circumstances) and against other Metro area Districts.  When measured against the rest of the Metro area, JeffCo consistently outperforms DPS, Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Adams 12 schools.  Jeffco also matches up very well with Cherry Creek, Littleton, and Boulder, sometimes a bit being higher, sometimes a bit lower.  When compared to DougCo, JeffCo ranked higher (adding Distinguished and Strong Commands together) on 8th grade science and 7th grade social studies, tying DougCo on 4th grade social studies, and being lower than DougCo only on 5th grade science by only two percentage points.

From these results, if JeffCo should emulate anyone, it’s Boulder, Cherry Creek, and Littleton, not DougCo.

All that being said, we fully expect the spin from WNW+M3 to make it sound as if JeffCo is just below the lowest performing District in rural Alabama.

Halloween Trick Alert!
Agenda Item 5.13: Administrative Appointments
Adm. Employment – 11-14.pdf (13 KB)
Add’l Background – Administrative Appointments.pdf (17 KB)

Our Comments: Here is where WNW+M3 try to slide in their first little surprise.  This item is in the Consent Agenda, where non-controversial items are grouped for rapid approval. Buried in the attachment Adm. Employment – 11-14.pdf (13 KB) you find for Administrative Appointment 6.C Chief Legal Counsel, Employee Relations one Craig Hess, effective last week.

For those who were are the January 16th Board Meeting, you probably remember how Witt, Newkirk, and Williams made a huge stink about how Dr. Stevenson put the hiring of a new Chief Legal Counsel on the Consent Agenda, and then proceeded to excoriate Dr. Stevenson for that temerity.
Some how, we do not think they will treat Mr. McMinimee doing the exact same thing the same way!
By the way, a quick Google search of Mr. Hess yielded his LinkedIn Page here.  No Facebook page currently found.  The one thing we noticed was that he has No Education!

Given WNW’s current hiring pattern, it is apparent that actual experience in the job is not a requirement for being hired.

Halloween Trick Alert!
Agenda Item 6.01:  Alexandria School of Innovation Charter School Application
Type: Action (estimated duration: 30 minutes)
Attachments: Charter Application Review Committee for ASI – 9-9-2014 – Final.pdf (228 KB), Department Reviews of Rubric for Alexandria rev.pdf (568 KB)

Our Comments: We stand by our original comments:  Approval of this charter application is a disaster waiting to happen.
There are so many things wrong with this application, it is not even funny.  We will try to hit some of the most outrageous, but will assuredly miss some:

  • The proposal was originally written for DougCo, then hastily converted to JeffCo.  This is evident by the repeated references to “DougCo” instead of “JeffCo” in the original application.  It was obvious they had not really reviewed the document prior to initial submission.
  • Their plan assumes they will have 450 students to start!  But only 150 have sent letters of intent, and it is unsure how many of them were for when the school was proposed for DougCo, not JeffCo.
  • Their marketing efforts have been primarily in DougCo and Littleton, not JeffCo!
  • They have no identified location for the school.
  • Their budget counts on ‘soft money’, contrary to state guidelines.
  • While the school is non-profit, the Brannbergs own the for-profit management company that would be ‘hired’ to run the school.
  • Judy Brannberg would run the school despite having NO formal teaching or school administration experience!
  • The Brannbergs have rigged the Board so that the parents CANNOT take control of the school…ever!

The stories that whirl around the Brannbergs are chilling.  Charismatic, hyper-sales people, they sell others on the ideas by promising anything and everything.  One example was at the public presentation they made to the Board.  When asked about Free, Full-day Kindergarten, Judy Brannberg immediately said they would love to offer it.  It took another, more informed member of the Alexandria team, to inform the Board that they could not answer that question, and that Judy did not understand everything that Free, Full-Day Kindergarten actually meant.  And she is supposed to run the school?

With all that, we expect the application to be approved, 3-2.  After all, WNW has shown time and again that they believe that training, experience, and proven competency are not essentials when it comes to educating children.

Halloween Trick Alert!
Agenda Item 6.02:  Golden View Classical Academy Charter School Application
Type: Action (estimated duration: 30 minutes)
Attachments: Charter Application Review Committee for GVCA – 9-9-2014 – Final.pdf (215 KB)
Department Reviews of Rubric for Golden View rev.pdf (588 KB)

Our Comments: While we have definite problems with approving this school, competence in putting together the application is not one of them.  Compared to Alexandria, this is an extremely well edited document.   We do have significant problems with the political/philosophical orientation of this school.

Our first issue is that the structure of the school is such that it will become an extension of Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative.  Why?
Because:

  • The teachers are to receive initial and continued training at Hillsdale College.
  • The curriculum is prepared by Hillsdale College, and
  • All new members of the Board of Directors are to be selected by the existing Board members, not by the parents.

This means that the school will effectively be under the control of Hillsdale College, not the parents of the students who attend.  Hillsdale College

Our second issue can be found in section “O” of their application, Waivers they are requesting.

on page 14 of the Department  Reviews document.

Some waivers are to be expected.  But they should be around district policies on teachers, pay, Administrative training, etc.  Golden View has those…and then a lot more!
They want to be exempt from restrictions on what material may or may not be in a school library.

  • They want to be exempt from District Policy and State Law that prohibits teachers from selling things to their students without expressed permission of from the JeffCo School Board.
  • They want to be exempt from providing Kindergarten.
  • They want to be exempt from when, how, and what is taught about Human Sexuality.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on unlawful discrimination.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Environmental and Safety programs.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Data Security.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Violence in the Work Place.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Personal Records and Files.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Health Education.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Teaching about Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Teaching about Controversial/Sensitive Issue.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Prevention of Bullying.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Students Rights and Responsibilities.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Student Organizations.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Public Gifts/Donations.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Public/Parent Concerns and Complaints.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Public Concerns/Complaints about Instructional Resources.
  • They want to be exempt from District policies on Relations with Parent Organizations.

In short, they want all the money from the state, the District, the community, and the parents in the form of tax dollars, but want to be exempt from anything and everything that would hold them accountable to that same state, the District, the community, the parents, and most of all, the students.

In short, the very thing our students objected to, that even the Denver post found going too far, will be handed on a platter to Hillsdale’s Golden View campus.

Agenda Item 6.03:  Student Achievement – Third Grade Reading
Type: Discussion (estimated duration: 1 hour)
PERTINENT FACTS:

  1. With the Board of Education’s continued focus on student achievement, time was requested to discuss third grade reading performance toward meeting the Board of Education goal in Ends 1 Student Achievement to increase students’ third grade reading in TCAP from 80% to 85% by August 2015.
  2. Dr. Syna Morgan, chief academic officer, and Dr. Carol Eaton, executive director of Instructional Data in Educational Research and Design, will provide information on successful practices that have resulted in high reading achievement.  School leaders will join Dr. Morgan and Dr. Eaton for the Board of Education discussion.

Our Comments: It will be interesting to see how the Board handles the most likely answers:  Improve early reading abilities by focusing on Kindergarten and getting children ready for school.  Also, highly experienced teachers, well supported by instructional coaches.  Things they have already taken a stance on as opposing.  Or will Dr. Morgan (the third “M”) cobble together something that sounds good but actually has no track-record and is meaningless?

Agenda Item 6.04:  Superintendent Goals

Our Comments: Currently no attachments, although they are promised later today.  What we expect is a slightly cleaned up version of the travesty of goals McMinimee presented three weeks ago, i.e., a promise to ‘show leadership’ with no actual hard goals, times, or measures.  Be prepared for more bad acting from Newkirk.

Halloween Trick Alert!
Agenda Item 7.01: 2015/16 Budget Development Community Engagement Tool
Type: Discussion (estimated duration: 20 min.)
PERTINENT FACTS:

  1. At the August 23, 2014, Board of Education meeting, staff presented recommendations for the 2015/16 budget development process. 
  2. A component of that process is gathering community input on budgetary priorities. Staff engaged the services of Citizen Budget, an independent third party specializing in engagement and feedback of budgetary priorities, to develop the community engagement tool.
  3. On September 4, 2014, the Board provided input and approved the budget development process and timeline.
  4. Staff provided the Board with draft questions for the tool in the October 24, 2014, Weekly Update in preparation for input and revisions at the November 6, 2014, Board of Education meeting.
  5. Because discussion was moved from the October 16, 2014, Board of Education meeting, an overview of the engagement tool was provided to the Board in the October 17, 2014, Weekly Update.
  6. The purpose of this discussion is for the Board of Education to provide final direction and approval of the questions for the community engagement tool as part of the 2015/16 budget development process.

Our Comments: When you do not get the answers you want you have three options.  The most intellectually and morally correct action is to accept the answers and adjust your perception of the world accordingly.  A less moral and ethical response is to ignore the results and do what you want anyway.

We already know that WNW could not find the integrity to do the first, and chose the second last spring.  This year, they plan on taking an even nastier and sneaker third option:  change who is asking the questions until you get the answers you want.

FYI – Citizen Budget is a Canadian company.  Their experience is in Canadian municipal budgets.  They have one U.S. customer:  Mankato, MN, a small town southwest of Minneapolis.

Why The SCREAM is an appropriate image…
Agenda Item 8.01:
 Policy Revision: GP-13 Committee Structure
Type: Action – estimated time: 10:25 p.m. (estimated duration: 2 minutes)
PERTINENT FACTS:

  1. Following Board direction on October 16 and other necessary updates, Board governance process (GP) policy 13, Committee Structure, is brought forward for Board adoption of revisions.

Attachments: GP13 Revisions.pdf (164 KB)

Our Comments: Remember the “Curriculum Review Committee” proposed by Julie Williams?  Remember the protests our students made over the Board wanting to be able to exercise censorship and implement political/ideological indoctrination?  Remember how almost a hundred students, parents, and community members spoke against it?  Remember how Julie Williams said that she did not want to raise “little rebels”, and how Witt called the students “pawns”?  Remember Fox News calling them “punks”?

Well, this is the ‘policy change’ that will put everything our students, you, and our community fought against into action.  This is the creation of the mechanism that gives Julie Williams everything she wanted.

Remember this!

and Keep Fighting, JeffCo!


 

10/31 Happy Halloween! The Election is Here!

991734237_Uncle_Sam_HalloweenThere will probably be lots of horrifying creatures roaming around tonight.  Some of them will even be children in costume!

For us voting age trick-or-treaters, the Warlock, the Necromancer, and the Witch we have been facing will not, unfortunately, take off their costumes at the end of the night.  In fact, we fully expect them and their two minions, the Mandrake, the Medusa, under the auspices of the Minotaur, to play some horrific tricks on JeffCo Thursday.

But we can give them a late Halloween gift that will terrify them down to their demented toes.

We can give them a massive voter turn-out.  One that defeats the candidates who have openly supported them while disparaging and insulting our students.

With that in mind, we have come up with some aids to help you deliver this Halloween treat!

Questions on How To Vote

  • Do I need to sign the back of the return envelope for my vote to count? 
    Yes!
  • When should I mail in my ballot?
    Today, Friday, is the last day you can mail in your ballot and be confident it will arrive at the Clerk’s office in time.  The postage required is 49 cents or one “Forever” stamp.  We have been advised that it is probably too late to mail in a ballot.  We therefore recommend dropping off your ballot yourself at a drop-box (see the next Q&A below).
  • I am afraid if I mail it now it won’t get there in time!
    If you do not want to risk it, or it is already after Friday, then you can go to one of 23 drop box locations around the county and drop off your ballot.  The locations are on a two-sided piece of paper that should have come with your ballot. If you cannot find it, here is a link to the pdf version: Ballot Drop-Off & Voter Service Center Locations.Or you find the location of a drop-off box on this Google Map we have created: JeffCo Voting Locations Map.  Just have only the “JeffCo Ballot Drop Off Locations” layer checked.  The color of the symbols will let you know what type of drop-box is at each location and the times it is available.
  • Ballot?  What ballot?  I haven’t received a ballot!
  1. First, if you have not received a ballot, double-check to see if you are registered!  You can do that here:  Find My Voter Registration. If you are registered, but have not received your ballot, or you have lost it, or have sent it in, but now want to change it, you will need to go to Jefferson County Voting Service & Polling Center.  You can find the addresses and times for these locations on the second page of this document, Ballot Drop-Off & Voter Service Center Locations. Or you can find the locations also on our Google Map: JeffCo Voting Locations Map.  Keep the “JeffCo Early Voting Locations” layer checked and uncheck the other two.  You can then select on the diamond-shaped symbol most convient to you and it will show you the address and times it is open.
  2. If it turns out you are not registered, or have moved since you registered, do not worry!  You can still vote!  Colorado has same-day voter registration!  All you have to do is register at a Voter Service Center.  Just follow the same instructions as above.  You will be able to register and vote!
  • I have already mailed/dropped off my ballot.
    How can I make sure they got it?

    If you have already dropped off your ballot, but want to make sure the Election Center has recieved it, click here: My Voter Information.  Enter your birthdate and the street number where you live, then click “Search”.  It will give you the status of your ballot.
  • (New question that came in)
    What should I do if someone tries to intimidate me or stop me from voting?

    There are some very nasty efforts going on by extremist groups to discourage people from voting.  Their attitude is completely anti-democratic.  Knowing they probably cannot win an election with a large turn-out, they try to frighten or mislead people they suspect of not supporting them into not voting.

    If someone tries to intimidate you or stop you from voting, you should notify an election judge or county employee immediately! If this occurs at an unmanned drop box, you should call the police!

    We also recommend that you contact the Secretary of State’s office.

    Finally, try to gather as much info as possible, including pictures or video if you can do so safely.

  • Why should I vote?  WNW is not on the ballot.
    How can my vote in this election impact them?

As Robert Heinlein, the science-fiction writer once said:

“If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for … but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.”

Believe us, there are DEFINITELY candidates you want to vote against!  Laura Boggs, the local high-priestess for WNW is running for the State Board of Education.  You probably want vote against her.  For a more detailed list of who to vote for or against, we recommend looking over Support Jeffco Kids endorsement list.

  • I thought Jeffco School Board Watch was non-partisan?
    Why are you recommending a bunch of Democrats?
    We are non-partisan.  We are a group of people from every political stripe you can imagine.  We would LOVE it if a Republican candidate for an office came out and said, “I oppose what Witt, Newkirk, and Williams are doing to the Jefferson County School District“.  Unfortunately, none of them have.  In fact, most of them have openly said they support WNW’s actions and hope they keep at it!

    As one of our Republican members said a couple of weeks ago, “I wish I could vote for a Republican this election, but my party nominated only extremists!”

    In that sense, our recommendations are non-partisan.  We are not for the Democrats.  We are against people who are supporting WNW and their radical, destroy-the-public-schools agenda!

    That is not being partisan. It is being responsible American citizens.

quote-Melissa-Bean-mr-speaker-democracy-works-best-when-the-116929_1

Let’s inform and engage, JeffCo!

 


 

10/29 Destructive Distractions: WNW’s Reaction To JeffCo’s “Pawns”

distraction
The dark money backers of Jeffco’s Terrible Trio must be looking back on the last two months with mixed emotions.

On one hand, their WNW minions followed the DougCo-inspired game plan and wreaked further damage on JeffCo and its’ students by

  • imposing a ‘rule by decree’ teacher comp plan;
  • changed a ‘review’ of Brad Miller into a quick ‘renewal’ of his contract;
  • lavished praise on the applications of two new Charter schools, one with such a flawed application that it kept referring to JeffCo as “Douglas County”, and the other which appears to be a puppet of an extreme religiously-oriented college from Michigan;
  • getting rid of Lori Gillis, the independent CFO, making it easier to ‘massage’ the numbers.

On the other hand, over 1,000 JeffCo students from 16 different JeffCo High Schools garnered international attention and praise for protesting Julie Williams’ heavy handed motion to censor their AP U.S. History course, and in doing so, helped wake up JeffCo’s parents, students, business community, and concerned citizens.

The impact of this is still growing and spreading.

We suspect that Witt, Newkirk, Miller, McMinimee, and their hidden backers must of have been wishing they could muzzle Julie Williams. It was, after all, her surprisingly open and honest espousal of the WNW vision for JeffCo’s curriculum that woke up the students.

Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights.  Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.”
(from the last paragraph of Williams’s original proposal)

In short, political indoctrination of our students, an action so reprehensible, so contrary to our history, so anti-American, that even their best spin doctors could not hide its horrific intent.

After the students walked out, WNW pushed through a fake ‘compromise’ that had no input from the rest of the Board and completely ignored the impassioned pleas from almost 100 students, parents, and JeffCo citizens. The censorship committee was effectively approved, with only the honest reasons for it being omitted.

But the damage had been done.

The students’ response…and the response of our country and the world to the actions of our students, helped us all to remember two key lessons of American History.

First, there is always someone who feels it is their divine right to force their beliefs on the rest us.

Second, that it is only by uniting and fighting them together, that can they be defeated.

WNW finally was confronted with an issue that they had not planned on, nor had a scripted response to.

Fundamentally, WNW showed that they are not flexible, nor in-tune with the public. Their very responses, calling our students “pawns“, saying they did not want to raise “little rebels“, and trying to paint the issue as a just ‘labor dispute’ showed how little imagination or true concern they have for the District and its students.

Even their media supporters at FOX News showed their tone-deafness when they called our students “punks”.

Now our students wear with pride shirts and buttons proclaiming them to be ‘rebels’ and ‘knights not pawns’ and that Fox called them ‘Punks’. So do many JeffCo parents and residents.

Since then, WNW has done everything it can to divert attention away from their Censorship Committee and their hatred of AP courses.

Along the way, they have continued to blunder about. Three state senatorial campaigns photoshopped a picture of the students protesting and then improperly used the JeffCo School logo in a campaign mailer. First Witt, and then Williams were caught not complying with CORA requests. Letters to the Board continue to go unanswered weeks after they were sent.  They failed to assuage the League of Women Voters who issued a letter saying that the JeffCo Board has a ‘governance problem‘.

WNW and their backers have also continued to try and paint the students as ‘pawns’ of evil teachers, dropped hints at refusing to negotiate a contract with JCEA, and just this last week, have let hints come out that they want to change the mountain school area of JeffCo (Conifer, Evergreen, etc.) to a four-day school week.

In short, they are all but begging us to trumpet these things from the tree-tops.

Why?  Because they will do anything to take the public’s attention away from their censorship and indoctrination agenda.

Do not get us wrong! All of those things are terrible, and they just add to the list of awful, wasteful, and destructive actions they have committed in just 11 months. But the public reaction to those atrocities is something for which they have a set of pre-planned responses. Their maskirovkas for those outrages are well honed and ready.

But it is the reaction to the open proposal of Julie Williams to censor course material and indoctrinate blind obedience into our students for which they have no pre-planned response.

For Julie Williams has revealed to everyone what they truly are and what they truly believe.

And they are desperate to hide that.

So, for the next 30 days or so, we expect them to actually accelerate their outrageous actions. We expect a rubber stamp for at least one (if not both) of the badly flawed Charter School applications. We expect them to launch even more tight restrictions and punitive actions on the teachers and students who oppose them. We expect them to try and spin JeffCo’s success with students into sounding as if we have the worst district in the state, instead of the best. We expect them to blast the teachers with manipulated statistics, innuendo, and misleading statements. We expect them to try to sound as if they are reasonable when they commit the most unreasonable acts.

We also expect them to try and quietly load the new Censorship Committee with their partisans who will go off to find ‘horrible’ things being taught to our students. We expect them to begin the process of belittling and demonizing the AP courses and then begin talking up alternatives involving Colorado Christian University. We also expect them to try and hide these actions from the public behind their other outrages.

What can we do?

The first and most important action is to vote in this election. The second most important is to get everyone you know to vote as well.

If you are not sure who to vote for, you can check Support Jeffco Kids list of endorsements.

Even WNW is not immune to public pressure (although they are very resistant to it). There are several candidates for several different offices who openly support and praise WNW.

What if they all lost?

That would be a body blow to WNW. No longer could they pretend they had a mandate. No longer could they look for political cover when they take horrific actions. Those among them with political ambitions (Witt & Newkirk) might actually think twice about their chances on their present course.

Then, after the election, we need to continue to put pressure on them and other elected officials. We also need to keep the news media focused on the JeffCo School Board. And the best way to do that is to show up at every Board meeting, in force.

We then need everyone to step forward and begin building the organizations that will eventually wrest control of our District away from the WNW extremists.

Below is a list of organizations already working to do just that.

Organizations that can help you make even a bigger difference!

  • Support Jeffco Kids.  “SJK” is a 501(c)4 organization, and so can accept donations and engage in political activities.  It has worked hard at organizing opposition to WNW policies in the community, and they seem to be one of the key groups.  You can join their mailing list here, and donate here.

  • Jeffco Exodus – What they are (from their ‘About us’ page):
    Gathering facts, Sharing stories
    Jeffco Exodus is a community network focused on two primary activities:

    • Gathering and sharing factual information to raise awareness

    • Sharing teacher, staff and family stories of exodus from Jeffco

    We’re hoping to have two or more volunteers in every Jeffco school – neighborhood, option and charter – to establish a communications network through which we can  share factual information. Jeffco has a problem – the new School Board Majority. But not enough people in Jeffco understand the issues. We want to raise community awareness.”

    Jeffco Exodus is run entirely by Jeffco parents and is in no way affiliated with any professional associations or other formal organizations.​

    Who they are looking for (volunteers):

    Parents with children in JeffCo schools.  “We hope to have at least two people at every Jeffco school who can quickly disseminate factual information we will share.”

    Ways to contact them:

    email: JEFFCOEXODUS@GMAIL.COM
    Website: www.jeffcoexodus.com
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/jeffcoexodusContact Page: http://www.jeffcoexodus.com/contact-us.html

  • Citizens For Responsible Education is focused on reaching out to those in JeffCo who do not have a direct connection to the school district.  Their mission is to help those citizens realize that the fate of JeffCo’s schools, students, and teachers directly impacts their business, their jobs, their home values, and them.
  • Your local PTA.  Even if you do not have a child in school, your local PTA can use your help and input. Michelle Patterson, the President of JeffCo PTA, gave a blistering speech to WNW at the meeting.  What ever happens, the JeffCo PTA will be in the thick of things.  Either contact your local school or the County PTA here: JeffCo PTA Volunteers.
  • Jeffco Students For Change  is a group of students representing most or all of Jefferson County’s high schools that have gotten together to add their voice to the public outcry against the WNW deconstruction of their schools.  If nothing else, go and ‘Like’ their page.  These are students we all should be very proud of!

Join. Volunteer. Donate.

If you find yourself hesitating, if you find yourself unsure, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. If not here, then where?
  2. If not now, then when?
  3. If not me, then who?

Come. Together we WILL make a difference!

Because we will…

Fight Together, Jeffco!

 


 

10/24 Dumb & Dumber – The Dirty Politics of the WNW Cliqué

10659355_10204216184837442_6097616330628153552_nSince the beginning of their ‘Reign of Error‘, Witt, Newkirk, and Williams have made political goof after goof.

The ham-handed way they hired Brad Miller, the antagonistic manner in which they forced out Cindy Stevenson, the blatant stupidity in refusing to expand Free, Full-Day Kindergarten for poor children, the faked ‘National Superintendent Search’ that gave us McMinimee, the repudiation of their own negotiating team, the rule by edict approach to teacher compensation, and now the censorship committee and menacing hints at AP classes, and more make up a litany of political tone-deafness that is staggering.

But the self-inflicted wound they suffered this week is astonishing.  If you have not been following it closely, here is the Channel 7 News segment on it, broadcast last night (Oct 23) on the 10:00 p.m. newscast:

Maybe we have discovered that the reason that WNW have pursued things this way may be more simple than we suspected?  Maybe it is not that Witt, Newkirk, and Williams are uniquely blind to how they appear to the rest of us.  Maybe it is the fact that they come from a political group of people for whom being politically blind is normal!

How else do you explain the incredible misstep this week of the Neville, Sanchez, and Woods’ campaigns in sending out near identical flyers with the JeffCo Schools logo, obviously Photoshopped photographs of last months protesting students, and references to non-existent legislative bills?  Was there no one on their staffs who warned them that this could really backfire?  If there were, it is plain that no one listened to him or her.

Of course, we may be doing a disservice to Witt and Newkirk.  Their political support seems to flow primarily from groups involved with American For Prosperity, the Independence Institute, and the Leadership Program of the Rockies, whereas Williams’ support is tied very closely to the Neville family and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners political club.

In fact, we suspect that right now, Witt & Newkirk along with their handlers, are a mass of seething anger, all directed at Williams, the Neville’s, and RMGO.  It is well known that there is little love lost between these two groups.  The AFP people must be livid at the repeated missteps, miscues, and mistakes of Julie Williams.  On the other hand, we suspect that JW is luxuriating  in the media attention like it was bath oil.

Regardless of the intent, the rank amateurishness and clumsy manipulation of those flyers is backfiring…big time.  It was probably intended to motivate the core supporters of WNW.  What has done instead are three things.

  1. It has dramatically increased the motivation of WNW’s opponents…right when the voting is actually occurring.
  2. In those State Senate races, if anyone who is opposed to WNW was unsure which candidate to vote for, clarity has arrived.
  3. If anyone wondered about the intelligence of the political clique from which WNW sprang, that question has been definitively answered.

So what can we do?

The WNW supporters have dropped a nice, big club they thought to blind side us with.  Let’s take that club and show them how it’s done…JeffCo Style!

Go to this Channel 7 link: Jeffco Public Schools tell candidates to stop using their logo in campaign flier. Share the article/video link through the Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and email links to everyone you can think of who lives in Jefferson County.  Describe in your forward how these candidates support WNW, and they are so oblivious to the public that they did not realize how bad of a mistake these flyers are.  Point out that if these people were dumb enough to make this mistake, what kind of dumb mistakes would they make in office?

Then recommend that they cast their vote for these people’s opponents:  Jeanne Nicholson, Rachel Zenzinger, and Andy Kerr.  Then ask them to forward out the link to their friends, family, and neighbors in Jefferson County with the same message.

If enough of us do this fast enough, we should be able to blanket the entire county very quickly.  Why will this work?  Because we are a community!  Not the bunch of isolated self-absorbed groups that the WNW backers seem to think we are.

And we know that honesty and fair play, especially in politics, is vital to a truly functioning democracy.

That’s Fighting Back, JeffCo!

 

 


 

10/20 Monday Do List: There Are No Unimportant Elections Any More.

Vote
There are no unimportant elections any more. 

If there ever were.  Certainly we in Jefferson County, Colorado know that now for a fact.  It is burned into our very souls.  EVERY election MATTERS!

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

If there were, our students would not have had to gain national and international attention fighting an effort to censor their history.  However proud of them we are, it would have been far better that no such censorship effort had ever been made.  But they had to, because we, as a community, took the election last year far too lightly.  Never again!

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

It used to be that some positions were truly non-partisan and non- political.  City or County Clerk, School Board Member, dog catcher.  Now maybe the Dog Catcher is still non-political, but WNW have made School Board definitely political. And if a recall effort is launched, it is the County Clerk who has to approve the petition.  Who do you trust in that position?  WNW has taught us we cannot take ANY position for granted.

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

Extreme candidates, hiding their fanatical views, funded by huge sums of dark money, seek to gain power on the sly.  Once gained, they then wield that power without compunction, without second thought, without listening to the public, or even giving us the time of day.  And as DougCo showed last fall, they will then break the law in their efforts to keep that power.  They are like a virus, seeking that one opening, that one ‘low turnout’ election, that weakens our political immune system, and then their infection takes hold.

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

Candidates and incumbents of major offices should take sides in our fight with WNW.  If they ignore the situation, that is the same as siding with WNW, because it gives WNW the chance to focus on just fighting us, the public.  We need public office holders who are as horrified and repulsed as we are. We need State Board of Education officials, U.S. Representatives, County Commissioners, U.S. Senators, County Clerks, Governors, State Representatives, County Assessors, State Senators, and everyone else who needs votes to make it clear to WNW that their actions will not be tolerated.

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

If anyone tells you that one side is pretty much like another, try not to take their head off when you respond!  Here, in JeffCo, one side is absolutely, radically different from the other.  And to be ‘neutral‘ is to say our schools and our children do not matter.  THEY MATTER!  They are our future, the future of Jefferson County, and of Colorado.  Their education is their future.  And their future is OUR future.

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

Some will say, ‘But this election is not about the JeffCo School Board.‘  We know they are wrong.  The spiritual and political leader of WNW, Laura Boggs is running for the State Board of Education.  She has promised to do there what she and WNW have done in JeffCo. WNW look to other public office holders for acceptance and approval.

If those offices are held by people who give WNW even tacit support, if Laura Boggs wins the State Board seat,  if the wrong person is elected County Clerk, WNW’s hold on JeffCo will get tighter and stronger…and our children’s future, and the future of JeffCo becomes dimmer and dimmer.

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

Everyone else in the country is hearing nothing but sound bytes by both parties, slamming each other over national issues that do not matter much at the local level.  Here in Jefferson County, things have been reduced to a very simple level.  Does a candidate support our students fighting for their education…or do they not?  The answer to that single question will tell you everything you need to know about how important your opinions are to that candidate.  Whether they will listen to you, and take your concerns into account.  If they do not come out against WNW, against the censorship, against ignoring the public, against the lack of transparency, poor accountability, bullying, disrespect, misleading, and other repugnant actions, then they really do not care what you think or is important to you.

There are no unimportant elections any more. 

So you not only need to vote, you need to make sure that every one you know of who is registered to vote does so.  You need to call the members of your family, your friends, your neighbors, the members of your church, your co-workers, people you see in the park, at the grocery store, in a restaurant, on the sidewalk, and remind them they need to vote!

There are no unimportant elections any more!

It is an all by-mail election this year!  You should have received your ballot by now.  If not, start by going here: Just Vote Colorado (o para sitio web en español, aquí: “Usted Debe Votar, Colorado“).

If you have not been following all the campaign literature, you can check out Support Jeffco Kids 2014 Endorsement page.

If you complete and mail in your ballots by this Friday, they will be sure to arrive in time.

So, come on, JeffCo!  Vote!!!

Because There Are No Unimportant Elections
Any More!