8.14.15 Education, Inc. showing tonight & other updates


If you have some free time tonight, please consider watching the debut of Education, Inc. at one of four Jeffco locations. The documentary talks about what is really happening in Jeffco, Dougco, and around the country and how it is affecting our schools.

You can watch the trailer here:

Tonight, you can see the documentary at the following Jeffco locations:

Mountair Christian Church, 1390 Benton St., Lakewood
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Arvada West High School, 11595 Allendale Dr., Arvada
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Chatfield High School, 7227 S Simms St., Littleton
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Evergreen Fire Rescue Admin Building (aka Bergen Fire House), 1802 Bergen Pkwy, Evergreen
6 – 8 pm

If you can’t make one of those sessions, there will be one in on August 27 from 4 – 7 pm at the Mayan Theater in Denver, or one on Sept 1 in the Louisville Elementary Library (in Louisville, CO) from 3 – 4 pm. You can also find other upcoming screenings here.

In other Jeffco news, our friends at Support Jeffco Kids have filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State, District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General after learning about some shady practices by a supposedly charitable organization that backs Witt, Newkirk and Williams. Here’s the story:

Support Jeffco Kids uses the domain name http://www.supportjeffcokids.org. The other organization purchased the .com version of the identical domain and redirected it to their site, in yet another attempt to silence the voices of the Jeffco community. Longtime readers won’t be surprised to learn that the “charitable” organization is the reform-minded Jeffco Students First, who backed WNW during their campaign. JSF has also tried to donations for their own site through dubious Twitter posts about the recall that don’t happen to mention their opposition to said recall.

While they were at it, JSF and even John Newkirk decided to purchase a few more domain names, though notably, domains like recallwitt.com were purchased more than a year ago. Perhaps even JSF doesn’t have faith in WNW?

Regrettably, the .com version of jeffcoschoolboardwatch.org has also been purchased by JSF and will redirect you to their site. While we’re pretty sure our readers can easily tell the difference between JCSBW and JSF, we’re hoping you’ll bookmark JCSBW in your browser so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises when you’re looking for us.

Support Jeffco Kids is also asking the Jeffco community to march with them at upcoming community events. If you’re free this Saturday, please join them at the Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival Parade. We also encourage you to join SJK on Sept. 12 at the Arvada Harvest Festival Parade, and again during the weekend of Sept. 18-20 at the Somerset Festival in Clement Park. For more details, please email them at volunteers@supportjeffcokids.org.

And last but hardly least: there’s a non-partisan highly-partisan Jeffco School Board candidate forum scheduled for Monday, Aug. 31 at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. It’s sponsored by the Centennial Institute, which is directed by Republican John Andrews, founder and former president of the Independence Institute and former Colorado Senate President. Although they claim the debate is “impartial,” we’re not convinced they know what that term really means. Note their copious use of charged language, which we’ve highlighted in red to make it easy:

The reform-minded board majority, Republicans Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams, face a union-backed recall petition. Seats of the two Democratic incumbents and union allies, Leslie Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman, are open as neither is seeking reelection.

As we’ve done in the past, Centennial Institute will host a nonpartisan forum for all contenders, impartially moderated by former Senate President John Andrews. You’re invited to come meet the candidates and learn about the issues.

Of interest: the announcement says all five board seats will face voters this fall. Perhaps that means that WNW and their various backers won’t challenge the petition?

We’d love to see Jeffco recall supporters there. The event requires attendees to RSVP, so please do so using their form or by calling 303-963-3424. The forum is Monday, Aug. 31, from 7 to 8:30 pm on the CCU Lakewood campus, Leprino Hall, 180 S. Garrison, Lakewood, CO 80226.

Keep fighting, JeffCo!


Leave Us Alone! Koch Brothers Pouring More Money Into Jeffco

This gallery contains 1 photo.

We all know people who just can’t believe the idea that the Koch Brothers helped buy the 2013 Jeffco School Board elections. Well, share this new message with them. Not only do we know better about 2013, but now we know that they’ve committed even more resources to the fight, if they haven’t already: starting […]

7.17.15 Don’t mess with Jeffco parents

"Riled up" or not, our numbers are not small.

“Riled up” or not, our numbers are not small.

We recently received this letter from a Jeffco parent:

In this week’s issue of the Columbine Courier, former Jeffco School Board member Laura Boggs lumps the supporters of the Board majority recall into two groups: “teachers” and “riled up mommies.”

Wow! How condescending can the board supporters be to identify parents as “riled up mommies?” The term is clearly meant to demean the mothers that disagree with them. (Note a similar accusation was made by former Jeffco communications director Lisa Pinto on a recent radio talk show.)

Perhaps Ms. Boggs needs an introduction to the mommies of today.

The mommy authors of the petition are a LAWYER turned stay-at-home mother and an Environmental Compliance Specialist. (Let’s not forget a dad is also on the petition.)

And yes, I am a mother and I support the recall. By the way, Ms. Boggs, this mommy holds an aerospace engineering degree, not a degree from the school of hard knocks.

I worked as a Flight Design engineer for Atlas rocket launches for years before choosing to become a stay-at-home mother. During the years I have stayed home I have served on church council, board of directors of a non-profit, school accountability chairperson, PTA secretary, and I have served the community in a myriad of other ways.

I have volunteered time reading in the classroom with struggling readers and challenging advanced math students (oh yeah this mommy has a minor in math that required differential equations and a few courses beyond four years of calculus). I have been the quintessential “mommy” as I schlepped cellos for the elementary orchestra tour in my mini-van.

At the same time I was creating newsletters and doing the bookkeeping for a non-profit company. I returned to the work force part time so I could continue to volunteer in my community and in my kids’ schools, including most recently circulating recall petitions. And I am just one example of the parents in our community that are volunteering in this effort. I am in awe of so many of the women and men that I have met during this process, many with credentials far beyond mine.

So yes I am riled up. And if you want to use the term mommy, well as they say where I come from, “Bless your heart.”  Don’t underestimate the power of TODAY’s riled up mommies. We are educated. We are passionate. And when it comes to our kids, you really don’t want to see us riled up.

And to the voters I have one message: Who do you trust with the education of the children in your community? Personally, I think teachers and riled up mommies are a much better choice than politicians and businessmen that have never spent time in the classroom.

— Alice Wurst

P.S. Fellow moms (and dads, because I know you are part of this too) I invite you to comment. For a mother to attack in this manner is infuriating and disheartening. Show Ms. Boggs and the community who we are. Do not be painted as some “mommy” to be dismissed. Stand up for each other and most importantly STAND UP FOR OUR KIDS.

Keep fighting, JeffCo!


7.13.15 Jeffco Parents Speak Out (Our First Guest Column — Non-“Union Operative” Division)

Remember this comments, by a former Jeffco communications director on a certain right-wing talk radio station?

The so-called parents that they’ve drummed up…

There’s no way young students could have put those together.

There’s clearly some sort of mill where they create this correspondence….

When a so-called scandal erupted, which was always created by this group, then there would be these, right away there would be this flood of correspondence about this “issue” by these same characters — the Wendy McCords, the Tina Gurdikians, their buddies, there’s a long list of names.

But we’re not “so-called” parents or “characters.” We’re parents, taxpayers and voters, and we will not be silenced.

Here’s one submission from our guest column contest:

As a parent in Southwest Jeffco, I am so glad that both of my kids went to Jeffco schools before the three “conservatives” were elected. What they and Superintendent McMinimee have done has ruined the morale for the teachers and the kids at the schools.

The trust that used to be there, the joy that teachers felt, and the fact that they have made so many good teachers leave this district is a direct result of their “teacher bashing” and their efforts to privatize the schools.

I don’t work in the education field and I find it sad to see how they have demoralized the profession and ruined what was a wonderful district. The teachers I know went into the profession to help kids; not to get the wage that McMinimee has. Shame on these three…they need to go!

We’d like to hear your voice too. If you are a parent, student, community member, it’s not too late to enter the contest. Details are here.

Keep fighting, JeffCo!


7.6.15 A Response to Skeptics


Some WNW supporters can’t handle the truth.

Last week, 9 News ran a story featuring Jeffco Exodus, a parent-run website and Facebook page chronicling the stories of teachers, administrators and staff leaving Jeffco. In it, one Jeffco resident questioned everything, including the turnover numbers from the Colorado Department of Education. One of our Jeffco teachers responded and shared her response with us and Jeffco Exodus.
We’ve printed her story below, and encourage you to share this with your friends and neighbors. Whether or not Horn truly wants to know the truth is an open question, but there are many Jeffco residents who are truly interested. Let’s make sure the rest of Jeffco keeps hearing the stories of teachers like Susan Coveyduck so they understand what is at stake.
Ms. Horn,
I saw your interview as part of the story broadcast by Nelson Garcia on 9 News the other night. It was about teacher mass exodus from Jefferson County schools. In the interview you posed a question that I thought I would politely answer for you. You also made a statement that I would like to address.
You wanted to know why Jeffco teachers are not happy that they’re getting a raise.  Well, first let me explain to you that I AM happy that the younger teachers in my district and the new hires are going to make significantly higher salaries in September, something that is more competitive with other districts. This is completely thanks to the MOU that my professional association negotiated with the school district.  This is finally some financial relief for about 1000 of the 5000 teachers in the district, about 20%.
The remaining 4000 teachers (80%) will be receiving a 1% increase. Since the average teacher in Jefferson County makes 52,000, after taxes this equates to about $38-$40 per month. Given that the rate of inflation is many times more than that, and that the recession depleted many of our savings, do you think this is sufficient to convince effective, highly effective and mastery level teachers to stay with the district? What if the other districts were offering a greater increase in salary? Denver public schools is offering OVER 5% to its teachers. Boulder County is offering 3% plus the cost of living increase that’s close to 3%. Does this sound like a competitive business model to you? I don’t think it takes an MBA to see that this is a bad design. You claim to be supportive of public education, but it would appear that instead you would promote a model which would destroy our schools. Is that what you want?
You made a statement in which you questioned the quality of the teachers who are choosing to leave. Do you think that Jeffco teachers would leave a paid position, especially if they have children, if they didn’t think that they had a competitive edge at getting a higher paid position?  I would respectfully suggest to you, Ms. Horn, that it will only be the most talented people competing for those highly desired jobs in other districts. The best teachers are leaving Jeffco schools, not the weakest. The weak would cling to their jobs for fear they might not find another.
I am an award-winning, mastery level teacher with 20 years of experience in Jefferson County schools. My current public school has performed in the top 10 schools in the STATE since it opened, 14 years ago. I could get a job anywhere I want. I would leave this year, I am so heartbroken by what is happening to my district, except I can’t afford to. The salary freeze that we agreed to and the subsequent loss of increase in salary due to the board majority has resulted in a loss of $20,000 to my household income. Thankfully, my husband is not also a teacher, or that pain would be double as it is for many Jeffco teachers. Instead, I will save as much as I can for the next two years and leave then. THIS EXODUS, AND THE FUTURE DEPARTURES WILL BE A HUGE LOSS TO THE DISTRICT.
Who will mentor the incoming teachers, teaching them superior methods, methods only learned through years of experience, trial and error?
I just thought you would like some answers to your questions. If you would like to speak more, with greater depth I would be happy to talk to you sometime. Unfortunately, I think many of the people who support this board majority don’t really understand what is happening on the inside. They are doing massive, hemorrhaging damage to a beautiful school district.
Susan Coveyduck, MA
Science Department Chair, Instructional Leader
8th Grade Science and STEM Elective
The Manning Option School, Golden 

Keep fighting, JeffCo!