Letter to the editor: Choose to keep politics out

Posted 9/27/17

Charter school parents: The quality of our future charter schools is in jeopardy!

As a charter parent, I'm concerned that DCSD's BOE directors Geddes, Peck, Reynolds and Silverthorn have been …

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Letter to the editor: Choose to keep politics out

Posted

Charter school parents: The quality of our future charter schools is in jeopardy!

As a charter parent, I'm concerned that DCSD's BOE directors Geddes, Peck, Reynolds and Silverthorn have been approving charter school applications that do not fully meet the district criteria. DCSD's charter application process starts with the Charter Application Review Team, or CART. It includes 17 DCSD staff, one DAC member, one LRPC member and one independent reviewer. CART reviews the application to determine if it meets the 19 criteria that were developed by the Colorado Department of Education's Schools of Choice Unit and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.

Since 2016, Silverthorn, Peck, Reynolds and Geddes have voted to approve three charter applications that CART rejected: Leman Academy, Milestone Academy and Ascent Classical Academy. This means that recent CART recommendations are being ignored HALF the time! For Leman, CART stated that they did not meet seven of the 19 criteria (37 percent). Milestone did not meet 8 (42 percent) of the 19 criteria. Alexandria School of Innovation was the only charter denied by both CART and BOE - the only recent example of the BOE majority actually complying with a CART rejection. This will not produce quality charter schools. It increases the liability that a school will not meet the state performance standards and risks a high-quality education for our kids.

Why are these BOE directors disregarding the recommendations of their own staff and ignoring state-endorsed criteria? Are they approving charters simply to increase charter presence in alignment with the education reform movement, without any regard to the quality and competence of these schools? Our children deserve better! Vote for school board directors who aren't connected to the reform movement. Vote for Graziano, Holtzmann, Leung and Schor - they will keep politics out of education.

Jen Shocker

Highlands Ranch

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