My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


The Other Side

On the Letters page of today’s Rocky is a rebuttal by Sen. Sue Windels (D-Arvada) and Rep. Michael Merrifield (D-Manitou Springs) of the News’ editorial from last week “Don’t Dump School Ratings.”

In this letter, the two chairpersons of the Legislature's Education Committees accused the News of misrepresenting their positions.

As former teachers, we believe strongly in the value of testing, reporting and school accountability. Our proposal – crafted with input from teachers, school administrators, legislators, and state regulators—aims to build on the strengths of Colorado’s current school accountability system, while simultaneously simplifying it. . . .

Our proposal streamlines the process for determining those ratings, and ensures that students’ and schools’ improvement over time is reflected in their ratings.

Notice who was not consulted? Yep, that’s right—-parents. Taxpayers. Consumers of the education product. And I wonder exactly which state regulators were consulted in the making of that proposal. It sounds to me like all the usual suspects who have an interest in making the public schools look as good as possible, while insulating them from real accountability.

So, okay—maybe I’m overreacting. We will be happy to look at the specifics of the proposal when it comes out of committee to see just how many of the strengths are left intact. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. And we’ll be watching.

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