The Blame Game

shutterstock_227272534 - CopyAs Eye on Jeffco School Board reported, the Jeffco school board broke at least two policies at the Dec. 10 board meeting when they gave the go ahead for adding a new middle school in south Jeffco by making Bradford schools a K-8 set of schools. The board broke its Governance Policy 02 (GP02 #10) which requires that a vote only take place after having been on an agenda at least two times. They also broke district policy JC which says these types of decisions are to be made in February.

New “clean slate” board member, Brad Rupert, who is also the BOE treasurer, specifically asked Mr. Terry Elliott during the discussion process if the request to approve the expansion was a deviation from policies JC, regarding boundary changes. Mr. Elliott confirmed that the policy was in fact being broken. He added that “in order to provide parents the best choices, the policy might need to be changed so that decisions can be made in the fall.”

Mr. Rupert and the rest of the board were clearly told that policy JC was being broken and that it “might need to be changed” in the future. The board should know their own governance processes, as that was a huge recall talking point. So why did the entire board completely ignore policies and vote 5-0 in favor of breaking it anyway? Continue reading

Is the new Board paying off an Election Bribe?

shutterstock_258179177At the Jeffco BOE study session Thursday December 17th, the board will have a discussion about the $15M in underspend from 2014/15 which the previous board allocated to build a new school in northwest Arvada. District leadership is recommending the $15 million underspend be moved back into the General Fund. They propose that $10M be put into reserves to offset any potential state reductions for 2016/2017, and $5M go toward a “one-time compensation payment” to staff. Is that one-time payment a payoff for the work the unions did to elect the clean slate? Continue reading

Transparency and Trust Are Not Built by Making Decisions Behind Closed Doors

TrustRunning on a platform of transparency and trust would seem to create extra sensitivity to honoring the community and doing your work in public. But the clean slate board proved at Thursday’s board meeting that is just not the case. In a story of fact is stranger than fiction, the new board went into executive session with so little transparency that they closed the room and said they would not emerge to adjourn the meeting as is the normal process. In addition, someone changed the public comment policy without any community conversation. Neither action seems to create the trust these new school board members promised during the campaign. Continue reading

The New Rubber Stamp Board Blatantly Broke Policy Last Night and Didn’t Care

The Jeffco school board broke at least two policies last night when they gave the go ahead for adding a new middle school in south Jeffco by making Bradford schools a K-8 set of schools. The board broke its policy GP02 which says an item may not be voted on the first time it comes before the board. They also broke district policy JC which says these types of decisions are to be made in February. Board members clarified that indeed they were breaking policy and did it anyway.

Clean Slate Pamphlet

The “Rubber Stamp” School Board

In addition they approved the change in curriculum requested and Bradford now becomes an expeditionary learning school. No questions were asked about how this model improves student achievement. No questions were asked about which other schools in the district, state or country use the model or what the experience has been in other places. No questions were asked about Jeffco’s ability to support this new curriculum. No questions, just a stamp. Continue reading