How to ensure school board members act in the best interests of students:
• Attend school board meetings, ask questions, and challenge bad decision-making
• Include board members on your email distribution list and share information frequently
• Examine budgets closely and communicate your fiscal priorities
• Share your personal narrative as parents, teachers and students
• Find out the board’s positions on legislative policies
• Become an expert on a specific topic: Common Core, IDEA, High-stakes testing and so forth and share your expertise with others
• School board positions are unpaid so be sure to thank school leaders for their time and service
Please send your donations for Opt Out Billboards to:
The Coalition for Better Education, Inc.
2424 22nd Avenue
Greeley, Colorado 80631
The Amendment 66 Dilemma
While I have always advocated for greater investments in education, I find myself conflicted about Amendment 66. There is no question that Colorado Schools need more funding. However, the past few years have included devastating corporate reform initiatives in Colorado. Lack of funding has stopped many of these costly and ineffective policies in their tracks. The unfortunate reality is “limited budgets” has become a unique chance to stop the spread of dollars to corporations and end policies that narrow the curriculum and further widen the opportunity divide. I would be an ardent supporter of 66 if it weren’t tied to these reforms:
Colorado Read Act House Bill 1238
Passed in 2012 this bill retains third graders who do not pass the reading tests. Retention has never been an scientifically supported as an effective intervention and particularly harms children with learning disabilities and low-income and second language learners.
Teacher Effectiveness Senate Bill 191
Passed in 2010 this bill narrowed the criteria for teacher success basing ½ of the evaluation on a standardized test. This was a very costly policy with districts mandated to absorb the expense.
State Board of Education Adopted the Common Core in 2010
Surprisingly, this is where the left and the right meet in opposing the Common Core a national curriculum financed by Corporations. Publishers like Pearson and McGraw Hill stand to make billions as districts are mandated to purchase the “Common Core” curriculum. Just Google to see the hundreds of critiques.
CAP4K Senate Bill 212
Passed in 2009 this bill is estimated at over $400 million for 2 out of 3 phases. It brings standards and tests to preschool through second grade.
Amendment 66 in their own words: