9/18 BOE Meeting: A Letter From A Mother

woman_writing2We received permission late last night to print this letter one JeffCo mother has sent to the Board.


Date: September 17, 2014 at 11:52:08 PM CDT
To:board@jeffco.k12.co.us” <board@jeffco.k12.co.us>
Subject: Williams Curriculum committee propos

Dear Jeffco BOE,

I am writing this email while I sit in a hospital 1,000 miles away from my Jeffco school children caring for my mom who had a stroke last week. I have barely slept all week and now that I have time to sleep I am actually using it to write you. That is how strongly I feel about the proposed curriculum committee. For a board majority that supposedly touts the bill of rights I find this proposal abhorrent.  The committee selection process squashes any hope of a minority voice. It reeks of censorship. Who is to deem what is objectionable – a few hand picked people with little to no background in education? The proposal talks about not encouraging civil disorder or social strife. I was raised in the South – this was the exact cop out people used for not standing up for the Civil Rights. They didn’t want to disrupt ‘social harmony’. This country was founded because of the civil disorder of the first Tea Party. I find it ironic that a member of the current Tea Party would propose this.

You claim to want tough standards to prepare our children for college but your first priority is to attempt to eliminate an AP class. Are you really supporting our kids or your own personal political agenda?  

My children I know have been exposed to curricula that would not meet this standard. It has challenged them to think and examine deeper history, literature etc. And truly if a teacher has ever assigned something that might be controversial the teacher has always given us THE PARENTS another option for our child.

I listened to the last board meeting. Jeffco has a curriculum committee of trained educators. By the way many of them are community members and parents. I trust them to do their job. Why this board feels they know education better than educators I don’t understand. Even this public proposal has grammatical errors. And I’m supposed to trust the person writing that with my child’s education? Sadly I have lost trust in this board. If this proposal is passed not only will I be anxiously awaiting a recall petition, but for the first time in my life I will be donating to a political cause, your recall. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am a parent. And hijacking my child’s education for political purposes is something I will not accept.

Concerned Jeffco Parent,
Alice Wurst

Sent from my iPhone

Ms. Wurst cannot be there tonight, so we ask you in her name to be there for her.

Be there for Ms. Wurst, who cannot be as she cares for her ailing mother.
Be there for every JeffCo parent who wants to be, but cannot because of job, distance, or family need.
Be there for every JeffCo parent who would be, if they only knew the gravity of the situation and what is at stake.

Be there for every JeffCo student who deserves an education filled with open exploration, genuine curiosity, critical thinking, and support for the questioning mind.
Be there for every JeffCo student who deserves an education untrammeled by propaganda, censorship, and authoritarian suppression.
Be there for every JeffCo student for whom education is the way up and out of poverty, ignorance, and a limited life.

Be there for our Community.
Be there for the business people who need workers with initiative and ideas and not mind-numbed robots.
Be there for our social groups who need volunteers who when they see something wrong, have the courage and faith to do something about it.

But most of all, be there for yourself.
Be there to help defend your school district, your neighbors, and your community.

Be there.

5:30 p.m., 5th Floor Board Room, Education Center, 1829 Denver West Drive, Bldg. 27, Golden, CO

If you are one of those who cannot make it, then if you can, watch it on your computer via the live video stream at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/JeffcoBoardRoom

You can and should also send emails to the Board and to the individual Board members, letting them know what you think and how you feel:

Board email: board@jeffco.k12.co.us
Ken Witt, President – District 5: kewitt@jeffco.k12.co.us
Julie Williams, 1st Vice President – District 1: juwillia@jeffco.k12.co.us
John Newkirk, Secretary – District 2: jnewkirk@jeffco.k12.co.us
Lesley Dahlkemper, 2nd Vice President – District 4: ldahlkem@jeffco.k12.co.us
Jill Fellman, Treasurer – District 3: jcfellma@jeffco.k12.co.us

Be there, and…

Fight Even Harder, JeffCo!



6 thoughts on “9/18 BOE Meeting: A Letter From A Mother

  1. Thank you, Alice Wurst, for writing so eloquently what many, many parents, educators and community members feel.

    To everyone reading this – the Board isn’t listening to what we say to them. The best thing we can do is to show them we mean business.

    Attend meetings. Tell everyone you talk to about the backwards thinking of our BOE. They are moving us back in time rather than moving us forward.

  2. why does the livestream quit just when we get to the discussion of the curriculum committee?

  3. Sanitized history is boring history


    Last week the National Assessment of Education Progress, often referred to as the gold standard of standardized tests, indicated that American students at all levels are alarmingly ignorant of the most basic facts of our own history.

    Only 20 percent of 4th graders, and a shockingly low 12 percent of high school seniors, showed proficiency on the history exam. Most 4th graders could not explain why Abraham Lincoln was significant. And only a tiny percentage of students could identify what Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court case, was about.

    The conclusion is inescapable that the vast majority of students possess virtually no knowledge of history.

    As a long-time educator and follower of educational trends, I am not at all surprised by these results. There has never been a time when American high school students have done well on history examinations. And, according to surveys conducted periodically since 1943 by the New York Times, there is every reason to believe that the level of historical knowledge among Americans of all age groups, not just school-aged children, is abysmal.

    I believe that James Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” has the most plausible answer for why we don’t know our own history: History is not retained or understood because it’s almost always taught in a boring way — and the reason it’s boring has everything to do with the half-truths and outright lies we tell about it.

    Is it really surprising that students don’t know about the Brown case when so many teachers provide them with so little historical context for understanding what a dramatic step forward that case represented? Why should our students know who Lincoln was when we so frequently withhold from them what a wily politician he was, or how far he progressed in his understanding of slavery and race during the course of the Civil War?

    Unlike a good movie about real life that is often interesting because all the boring parts have been taken out, we tend to teach history in high school with all the boring parts left in and all the really fascinating material removed so as to not to offend anyone.

    This has been true for decades. Our history text books bored students to death for most of the 20th century because everything controversial about American life — including racism, sexism, cultural genocide and overwhelming social and economic inequities — has been omitted.

    If we ever find the courage to tell the true and often tragic story of American history, our students will sit up, take notice and learn. In the meantime, don’t expect change any time soon. Social studies is famous for being the most boring subject in school, and so it will remain as long as its textbooks and its teachers are unable to face up to the gut-wrenching but arresting truths about our history.

    Stephen Preskill is the chairman of the Education Department at Wagner College on Staten Island, N.Y., a U.S. News & World Report Top 25 regional university.

  4. In opposition to the unreliable evaluative process and the new salary plan, could a teacher deny receiving a stipend, bonus or salary increase?

    • Possibly, but it would be lot to ask. They had pay cuts for two years and four with no raise of any sort. It’s sort of like asking a person with malnutrition to turn down a bad meal.

Comments are closed.