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Showing posts with label Colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado. Show all posts

School Board HiJacks AP - Forces Student to Christian CCU

UPDATE: Nov 05 2014 -- This is a dead issue and nothing reported to me about it seems to be true. All letters back to me have verified that this simply is not happening.  I'm leaving the post up, but be advised that this was not, is not and never was a true issue. 

UPDATE: OCT 21 2014 -- Wrote an email to Jame Flanigan the  AP U.S. History/ U.S. Government/Ancient Civilizations/U.S. History at Mountain Vista High School - who says that this is not true at his high school, but he can't speak for others. I rechecked the postings I found and they are still active. - hunt continues, still no verification.

UPDATE: I have been unable to verify  this alteration to the Douglas County HS offerings. Until I can I'm not going to be moving forward on this: The AP History classes at the HS locations are still showing on the web sites, with teachers assigned to them There is nothing in the Board minutes about the AP US History being dropped .Nothing regarding the course at all as a matter of fact. I hae emails out to teachers and students to see if I can get some type of verification.

Open Letter to Mr. McMinimee: Jeffco Schoolss Superintendent

Dear Mr. McMinimee:

I am a parent with two daughters who attend Jeffco Schools. Yesterday I received the Super
News update from you in my e-mail with some explanation about the closures at Conifer High
School and Standley Lake. As you explained the situation you concluded with this statement,
I’m not going to speculate on why teachers were absent.” This statement has left me confused
about your awareness of what is going on in your organization.

I have a little experience with district and teacher issues. Might I suggest a few reasons why
teachers might have called in sick or taken personal days on the same day?

1. The election of the schools board brought a promise of better fiscal transparency and
stewardship of public funds. However this board has given money to charter schools with
proven records of mismanagement of budgets, and no record of increasing student
achievement. Teachers working in schools that have increased achievement in reading and
math might have felt a little disrespected.

2. After the Board forced Mrs. Stevenson out, the search for your position was a sham.
Thousands of dollars were put into a national search-ironically to replace a nationally recognized
superintendent with a track record of improving student achievement. After taking consecutive
pay cuts and salary freezes for the past few years in an effort to keep the organization fiscally
afloat, teachers might have felt a little disrespected.

Jeffco School Board vs Blaine - I Got One More Silver Dollar

The following, as requested, can be viewed as an OPEN LETTER, and may be copied and used on any website as Open Source under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; as a whole, or may be copied in part by any News venue as you wish without citation being required. 

To The Jefferson County Board of Education Members, Students and Teachers,

I keep telling myself that I'm 'just about done' and going to be back to my novel writing any day now. Not today obviously, but soon - which is also my humble way of saying, I'm not a lawyer, or a cop or a Republican or Democrat. I'm a writer. A writer who writes fiction. Thing is though, when people read my fiction, they know it is fiction. I tell them that right up front. I also dislike competition from amateurs, thus the recent activities of you and a few of your Board members has been a distraction. That and the presence of one Larry Krieger at the meeting of the State Education Board Sept 10, 2014, who should be run out of whatever town he is in right now, just on precedent. When those activities blossomed into the Kids of Jeffco demonstrating against them I became fully engaged.  

The full disclosure of Colorado interested me, and allows for a great deal of research from a distance. I've seen these directives called Sunshine Laws. I like that. Sunshine Laws. How could you go wrong with mandated full disclosure? 

Well, by not checking to see what might be lying around.  

Recall of Williams Appears the only measure to stop Obstruction of Education

Just read this article on Chalk Beat Colorado 

I didn't realize that the Jeffco Board Majority was being so obstructive to their student's education. While most of my interest in this area diminished with the AP Censorship, if I was a parent in this district I would be seriously concerned with what I'm hearing. 

This Julie Williams, who apparently has experience as an office manager in a medical office, and no experience or training at all in the field of education -- and after starting all of this because she didn't bother to read the instructions on the AP US History documents, but instead took the word of reactionists and extremist who also didn't read the instructions -- is doing more to disrupt education than anyone I've ever seen (Except perhaps the Governor of Texas). It really feels like she would prefer the schools to be closed. Several times she has been quoted as admiring the latest actions of the department of education in Texas -- which most people look at as a monumental travesty. Here are the instructions these people can't seem to find or read.

I think Re-Call is in order. If only for this Williams woman who it appears is bent on destruction.

Oh.. and a look at Texas, who Julie Williams seems to be so enamored with..from News Week

...students reading Perfection Learning’s new textbook on American history will think Moses was right up there with John Locke and Charles de Montesquieu in influencing Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and their brethren. What role did Moses supposedly play? The textbook claims he contributed the concept that “a nation needs a written code of behavior.” Forget the biblical ignorance shown in suggesting Moses provided the code for a “nation” rather than for the Jewish people, who had no nation (failing to reach the Promised Land was kind of key to the Book of Deuteronomy). Forget the legal ignorance in suggesting the Constitution had anything to do with a “code of behavior” rather than establishing democratic government and the rights guaranteed to citizens. Forget the historical ignorance in suggesting that the first laws came from Moses when the sixth Amorite king of Babylon established one of the first written set of laws, known as Hammurabi's Code, hundreds of years earlier.
 I shudder every time I think of this... It is sedition and corruption of the highest -- and yet it is happening right now. 

"The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. -- The United States Supreme Court

The article suggests that the publishers created these text books for Texas (under the board's direction) because Texas was such a huge purchaser of school text books (number one in the nation it seems). I think that the rest of the nation should insure that Texas is now their ONLY customer, for being so greedy that the students learning from these text books didn't matter to them at all. 

Seriously publishers.. shame on you. 

What We Learned in Colorado - Verify before Opening Mouth

So, we got through the Board Meeting and no one died, people were heard, the Jeffco School Board may or may not have learned that they are working for the people of their district, not the other way around and there were some serious displays of not only community pride, but civic understanding. 

So, now, we need to understand and come to grips with a rather .. well uncomfortable realization...

The whole bases of this argument was erroneous and misleading. At the core of this problem is the "facts being taught"  Every one was concerned with What was going to be taught, or what wasn't going to be taught, Censorship, Patriotism, all based on the Data of the AP History program -- well those facts don't exist yet. 

Yeah, I know.. embarrassing huh? That moment when you realize that your school board members can't read? yeah... 

The School Board member Julie Williams is mis-informed (Most likely this was an intentional lie to her as well). Since she didn't bother to research the information and verify it, I give her no absolution. She caused this whole mess through arrogant beliefs and should be removed from her position. She has no business being anywhere near a school -- except maybe to attend. 

The College Board AP system changed this year, so that it could encompass the vast amount of history the different states wished to focus on and teach. The ONLY goal that AP classes have (History or otherwise) is to prepare the student for College Level Learning.. that is very important to keep in mind. The difference between High School History and College History is really only one thing. 

In High School you learn and test for your ability to recall facts. i.e. What date was the Declaration Signed? 

In College you learn to analyze the information. Simply knowing the trivia is not enough, so a College Level question would be -- What Did the Declaration Declare? Analyzing the Declaration you might pick up on the realization that the words "United States" had never been used publicly before to describe the collection of colonies. Also you might consider, the opening paragraph stated, the representatives of the states were laying before "the opinions of mankind" the reasons "one people" had chosen "to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them." Those "powers of the earth" -- meaning other sovereign states -- were the immediate international audience for the Declaration. The United States intended to join them on an equal footing "as Free and Independent States" that "have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which independent States may of right do" 

So, really there is a vast difference between Trivia and Understanding The College Board considered this, and it appears that they came to the conclusion that It Doesn't Matter, however What information is being analyzed, only that the skill of analyzing is learned. So, the goal of the AP US History Framework was to create a tool, a program, in which the teacher could convey these skills. BUT the teacher could chose what ever History and Context, indeed even the Text Book she wished to use as her base data.

As Presented, so that the College Board could explain to the teacher how to use the Framework, it was necessary, of course, to provide SAMPLE data -- otherwise there would be a lot of blank spaces in the instruction manual. IT WAS NOT REAL DATA, just sample data. All of it NEEDED to be replaced by the teacher with REAL data, that she would provide. 

The SAMPLE data was misunderstood (I believe misrepresented on purpose by Larry Krieger a former AP High School History teacher), to be what the AP US History program was teaching... and nothing.. could be further from the truth. The School, or the State, or whoever is tasked with the project, is the sole and only provider of the Data the AP Framework will utilize during the course. 

Which is exactly what the AP US History Instruction page says on the College Board Web site.. have a look 

If you are interested you can check out my blog for further information

By the way.. Jeffco Students Rock!
#JeffcoStandup #Standup4kids

For those looking for Recall, this link is a good place to begin

Recent Posts and Time in the Trenches

This AP-History issue got under my skin with very little resistance from me, pulling me into several long days of research, and debate, looking for answers and putting out a great deal of effort in finding something, anything that would help to keep Colorado from going where Texas has gone. I was asked, "why?" last night. 

I don't know how much you understand about the position we have put our K-12 teachers in. They work many hours a week without pay. Expenses for supplies often come out of their own pockets. For the college degrees they have, they earn far less than others with the same and often those with lesser education and expertise. They are constantly up against troubles between the schools, the boards and the unions. Their voices are mute, their expertise and experience ignored, and still they teach. -- well.. they use to still teach.

As the Atlantic noted in a piece on teacher resignations: “…anywhere between 40 and 50 percent of teachers will leave the classroom within their first five years (that includes the nine and a half percent that leave before the end of their first year.) Certainly, all professions have turnover, and some shuffling out the door is good for bringing in young blood and fresh faces. But, turnover in teaching is higher than other professions.Approximately 15.7 percent of teachers leave their posts every year, and 40 percent of teachers who pursue undergraduate degrees in teaching never even enter the classroom at all."

Data shows that beginning teachers, in particular, report that one of the main factors behind their decision to depart is a lack of adequate support from school administrators (Ingersoll, 2003). Induction is less than adequate, programs change, new policies are often implement mid-year, the frustration level is high in this area. 

More than three-fourths linked their quitting to low salaries. But even more of them indicated that one of four different school working conditions was behind their decision to quit: student discipline problems; lack of support from the school administration; poor student motivation; and lack of teacher influence over schoolwide and classroom decision making. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 1994-1995 Teacher Followup Survey.)

Nearly  9% few teachers come into the trade, this is a trend that has been going on since 2007.

Face it, we have hacked and slashed and cut so often that even those who 'feel a calling' aren't answering any more. 

On top of this, there is a growing trend among law makers and politicians which seems -- nothing empirical but the gnawing feeling is there -- that public schools and teachers themselves are targets of a war. The final goal of this war is unclear, but there are several in congress and in heads of state which publicly declare the education system is unwanted. If you think about that for a moment, men and women in positions which require votes to maintain, actively proclaiming that the Department of Education should be abolished and projects like Common Core, which not only help teachers with induction, but provide by its design a national support group -- the possible objectives are a bit scary. 

Law Maker's who mark education as an unneeded public service (by degrees)

"We must also explore new ideas, such as giving parents alternatives to underperforming public schools through experimentation with voucher programs.  Finally, parental involvement and responsibility are integral elements of a successful education". -- Richard Shelby

Michele Bachmann
Bachmann would abolish the Department of Education, and she has said she would give all the money previously invested in the department to state and localities.

Newt Gingrich
Gingrich, who called the student-loan program an "absurdity," would not abolish the Department of Education, instead saying he would make it a research and education center. He would dramatically shrink the department and remove all of its regulations. Gingrich would support forcing more students into work-study programs.

Jon Huntsman
Huntsman prefers local control on education and plans to abolish No Child Left Behind. The former Utah Gov. defied No Child Left Behind in 2005 by signing a law that gave Utah's education standards priority over federal requirements.

Gary Johnson
Johnson would abolish the Department of Education, and he is an advocate for homeschooling.

Ron Paul
Paul's "Plan to Restore America" calls for the elimination of the Department of Education, among others. Though his plan makes no mention of what would happen to them, Paul does not intend to eliminate federal student-loan programs. He believes the student-loan aspect should be taken out of the federal government and handled elsewhere.

Rick Perry
Perry would abolish the Department of Education, and he believes the federal government should get out of education altogether. He has already castrated his own school system with budget cuts, and has even hailed the bringing in of a whole new text curriculum that melds in the religious beliefs of the state education board with the social studies and history text. (very scary)

Mitt Romney
Romney was in favor of eliminating the Department of Education in the 1990s but praised the department in 2007. He has been a supporter of No Child Left Behind and President Obama's "Race to the Top" program.

Rick Santorum
Santorum said he does not have a "hit list" of departments he wants to eliminate. He would not eliminate the Department of Education, but he wants it to play a less prominent role in higher education.

Blake Whitten, a UI statistics lecturer and faculty adviser for UI Youth for Ron Paul, said he favors eliminating the Education Department because the candidates' plans are proactive in making budgetary cuts before they're forced on students.

States are Funding Schools Less Now than 2008
At least 35 states are providing less funding per student for the 2013-14 school year than they did before the recession hit.  Fourteen of these states have cut per-student funding by more than 10 percent.  

At least 15 states are providing less funding per student to local school districts in the new school year than they provided a year ago.  This is despite the fact that most states are experiencing modest increases in tax revenues.
Where funding has increased, it has generally not increased enough to make up for cuts in past years.  For example, New Mexico is increasing school funding by $72 per pupil this year.  But that is too small to offset the state’s $946 per-pupil cut over the previous five years. 

The school systems have been going through changes for a long time but its never felt like they were under attack before. Worse, it also feels like they are abandoned by every one else. The rhetoric, the propaganda, the environment is eroding the system away. AP Programs are just the next step in that erosion and no, I don't think this particular situation is purposefully helping that erosion, but it is telling that a person or people can look at a system like education, and brush it aside, disregarding any level of importance or  worth to be above his own goal -- and then to find so many bystanders who were passive about it until the controversy, who are now eager to jump on the war horses with him -- with no investment or payoff at stake for themselves.

The game is afoot...

I've been actively on this topic of the AP controversy for a couple of weeks now, and going through forums, and comment areas for news sites, and often I'm the only voice in the crowd who views the value of program as something above political issues -- its value toward future college benefits outweighs issues which can be talked over during this year, and addressed during summer when it will not interfere with education activities. The agendas are always more important, and the urgency is astounding. 

Just from my own observations and in my own opinion, I would have to say that %75 of the commentators for articles like this one, never thought about the issue at the student level at all. I'm very sure that a higher percentage of the authors of articles like the one in News Week didn't consider this level of ramification. 

Apologies if all of this sounds too 'liberal' and touchy-feely. I really don't have a party preference. I vote as I feel -- per person per office. I don't have an agenda other than what I've described. I'm a novelist, a writer, and not interested in continuing the political effort beyond this issue. But this issue is important to me, and I do want to see it settled. 

Call for Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo to Resign (Blaze of Glory optional)

“I think we need to take action against [the Islamic State] and I want to be supportive of that. It is a threat to our allies and to our own country,” Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., who serves on the Armed Services Committee, said, after leaving a classified military briefing on Obama’s Syria strategy. Sept 11, 2014

And then...Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican with support among the tea party movement, reportedly told a group of conservative voters that he is quietly working to convince Obama’s top generals to resign.

8 U.S. Code § 2388 - Activities affecting armed forces during war

(a) Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; or

Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

(b) If two or more persons conspire to violate subsection (a) of this section and one or more such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as provided in said subsection (a).

(c) Whoever harbors or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense under this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(d) This section shall apply within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, and on the high seas, as well as within the United States.

Sept 29, 2014  -- Jarred Rego, a spokesman for Lamborn, responding to a Military Times request for comment, sought to clarify the lawmaker’s remarks.
“In his remarks, Congressman Lamborn was referencing past policy decisions by President Obama, such as draconian defense budget cuts and changes to ‘don’t ask don’t tell,’ where generals and admirals approached members of Congress and expressed serious disagreement with these policy changes. There are no current discussions taking place and there are none that have anything whatsoever to do with criticizing our current military strategy to combat ISIS,” Rego said.

Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, is an un-American demagogue, willing to sabotage this country for his own grandstanding narcissism. If his words are to be believed, this brigadier blowhard is thoroughly unfit for public office and instead should be rotting in jail on charges of treason. 
Or am I being too subtle?
Lamborn is the latest type of political muck America needs to scrape off the bottom of its national shoe: an officeholder so absorbed with his hatred of the opposing party that he is willing to do anything, no matter how much it damages our national security and the underpinnings of our democracy, if it will win him some applause and maybe a couple of votes.

I personally don't care if he is Republican, or Tea Party, or God's little Gift to the Myopic Narcissistic Party... he doesn't belong in Congress, his voice is not that of the United States, his actions represent no one who would be a citizen of our country. 

Lamborn seems to have trouble according President Obama elementary respect.I can understand and even accept that Lamborn, or anyone could not agree with decisions, I could go so far as to understand and apprciate a strong emotional investment in situations like that -- but Obama is the president, and no matter what, you respect the office. Well, I think most Americans respect the office.  Lamborn boycotted the State of the Union address in 2012  he refered to the president as a "tar baby." and blurted out classified information about North Korea's nuclear capabilities during an open-session broadcast on C-SPAN in 2013. 

The man is useless and the sooner he finds another career, the better off this country will be.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Aurora, tweeted a link to a story about Lamborn’s comments and said, “As a Marine and combat veteran, I know to keep my politics off the battlefield.”

And when asked about Lamborn’s statement, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, said: “There is no room for partisan politics when it comes to our men and women in uniform.”

It is going to get Fakey this Year

This is a quote I found, I want to do some verification:  " On 7/31/2019 Trump has private meeting with Putin. On 8/3/2019, just three ...