4.15.15 New changes to BOE retreat speakers

cipherIn our last post, a Jeffco parent questioned why GOP Chair Steve House had been tapped to speak about innovation in education at a JeffCo School Board retreat this Thursday. We had the same question.

On Monday, Colorado Pols reported that House had withdrawn from the retreat.

But in true board majority spirit, new speakers have been added since Monday. In addition to the already-scheduled speakers, Tony Lewis and Scott Fast, three others have been added:

Michael Cushman, senior fellow, DaVinci Institute
John Evans, Ph.D., J.D., executive director, School Leaders for Colorado
Tammy Thorn, School Leaders for Colorado

School Leaders for Colorado is an alternative licensure program for principals. One new initiative they are touting is “Troops to Principals,” which they describe as a principal leadership training program former members of the Armed Forces of the United States. “Potential candidates may hold the rank of colonel, lieutenant colonel, or master sergeant with thirty to thirty-five years of military experience. They may come from the National Guard or the Reserve. They may be recently retired or have working experience in other careers. Their military experience has taught them one important thing—leadership.” Even better, they can complete the program in just 9 months!

Their presentation for the board is here.

A reader also inquired about Scott Fast’s education qualifications. Here’s what we do know. Fast has an education blog, and is a nationalist strategist for innovateducate. Rumor also has it that the Accenture Foundation, of which he is a retired executive director is a major contributor to the KIPP charter schools. He provided this document to the board as “pre-meeting reading.”

Never a dull moment here folks!

The meeting will be streamed, or you can attend it live in the Education Center board room in Golden.

Keep fighting, JeffCo!


 

5 thoughts on “4.15.15 New changes to BOE retreat speakers

  1. “Potential candidates may hold the rank of colonel, lieutenant colonel, or master sergeant with thirty to thirty-five years of military experience. They may come from the National Guard or the Reserve. They may be recently retired or have working experience in other careers. Their military experience has taught them one important thing—leadership.”

    I do not fancy the idea of principals treating teachers, students, and staff as if they were lower ranking soldiers in some kind of war.

    • It’s concerning. With all due respect to our veterans, leadership is not the only skill I want to see in my children’s principal. And for that matter, I don’t want to see a school run “military style” either. We need leadership, yes, but it needs to be leadership that values and collaborates with other educational professionals. A top-down style will not be successful – -as this board majority has repeatedly proven.

  2. So, there’s clearly only one type of innovation in which the BOE3 are interested.

  3. I am proud to say I served in the military and I am a Jeffco employee. I am also the daughter of a great man who served for twenty-four years. I can tell you that we have several veterans who teach your children and they are veterans or reservists. One thing I learned from the military teamwork, leadership, motivation, and discipline. My job was payroll. The experience I gained led me to a career in payroll and human resources. I have some college under my belt but the majority of my experience came from on the job training. Given an opportunity you will find some excellent leaders in the military. The military is similar to schools in ways. I remember teachers that were tough and set high expectations. I won’t ever forget my english teacher Mr. Nyman. He was a Korean War vet who lost his arm. I learned more from him than any other teacher. I wrote a paper on the Korean conflict which made him cry. My son’s history teacher Mr. Barber was a veteran and retired from teaching. He loved history and could lecture like nobody’s business on history. He told me at a parent teacher conference your son loves history. My twenty year old son still refers to Mr. Barber. It is a different mindset for sure. However for kids who maybe don’t fit the traditional mold of school it could be a great opportunity.

    • I don’t doubt that there are many veterans who make wonderful teachers and in fact I have a relative who is currently being taught by a former reservist. People who want to be educators tend to be great educators.

      But that’s also part of my my concern about this program–that former military leaders could be principals in “as little as 9 months.” Will they spend any time teaching in the classroom, or will they immediately be put into leadership roles with little if any experience of what teachers are dealing with “on the ground” every day? Will this program interest the because they were already interested in education, or rather because it provides near-instant leadership opportunities and a good salary? How well is this program vetting applicants?

      This program might also make for a good opportunity for charter schools offering alternative models, but we’re talking about the board majority who thought that asking the Colorado GOP chair to speak on education innovation was a good idea despite the fact that he has no experience in the area. They say they support educators, but they seem to be more interested in anyone who isn’t an educator than those who are.

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