Archives for category: Colorado

Angela Engel is a public education activist in Colorado. Here is her summary of the Colorado school board elections.

She writes:

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Thank you Nancy Ulrich and Bill Freud for hosting me on Far More Colorado.

Election Update:

Elections and Celebrations

In mainstream headlines this morning, journalists once again pinned both wins and losses on teachers unions, but there is a different story here and it is a powerful one!

Citizens in three communities woke up to the reform agendas playing out in local school board elections and said, “NO MORE.” This election was not about political parties, unions, or even philosophical differences.

For over a decade now, economic interests outside of education have been “buying” seats in school board races. These seats then buy political power and economic opportunity. In Douglas County the board passed a voucher initiative that directed tax payer dollars away from successful neighborhood schools and directed those dollars at private schools with zero transparency or public accountability. The decision was later defeated in court but the board spent millions of taxpayer dollars defending themselves and forwarding an agenda to micro-manage and simultaneously starve community schools. Voters in Douglas County on Tuesday elected new leadership.

In Jefferson County, the majority board conducted a similar reform agenda directing public dollars to business interests. In setting the budget, the board cut $600,000 to fund all-day kindergarten for low-income families and increased funding to the 16 charter schools in the district by $2.5 million dollars. The conservative led board was first recalled and subsequently replaced by a stunning majority.

Denver Public School board candidates, all democrats, have followed an aggressive plan similar to conservative boards in Dougco and Jeffco; replacing community schools in high poverty neighborhoods with charter schools like KIPP, a national chain. Veteran teachers have been systematically eliminated and replaced with novice teacher trainees. Many complete a six week training program through Teach for America, a for-profit education enterprise. Investment banker, Anne Rowe, financed by wealthy power players to the tune of over $200,000 in her last election, retained her seat with the help of the Denver Post and Chalkbeat who launched smear campaigns against her opponent. Both news sources receive funding from similar interests forwarding the corporate reform agenda. Unfortunately, Michael Kiley and Robert Speth both lost by small margins.

This election illustrates a major shift in a state that has helped lead the corporate reform agenda throughout the country. Colorado followed Texas in passing legislation grading schools based on test scores. Senate Bill 186 was passed two years before Congress instituted the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. In 2012, Colorado was again one of the first states to pass Senate Bill 191, tying teacher pay to test scores. Reform efforts are credited to well-financed charter school lobbies and campaigns financed by corporate interests. Both have gained significantly from the influx of public dollars to private coffers including test publishers, education management organizations, consulting firms, online providers, data management tools, and corporate charters.

This election signifies a major departure as the pro-charter, pro-testing, pro-corporate control reformers have been replaced with pro-student, pro-teacher and pro-community controlled parent leaders. It’s a new day in education.

Come Celebrate With Us

Children’s Advocates Celebration
Hey all you hard-working, under-appreciated, beautiful advocates for Children’s Education! We want you to join us for cocktails, conversation and a little reflection and recognition of everyone’s accomplishments over the last year.

When: November 12th, 5-7:30 PM
Where: Interstate Kitchen & Bar, 1001 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO

or….if more than 50 people respond to this invitation, we’re moving it to:

Govnr’s Park Tavern, 672 Logan St., Denver, CO

Note: We’ll let you know in advance if this event gets moved to Govnr’s Park Tavern!

Time: 5:00pm – 7:30pm MDT
Location: Interstate Kitchen and Bar

Angela Engel, 8131 S. Marion Ct., Centennial, CO 80122

The Network for Public Education Action Fund endorses Kathleen Gebhardt for the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education in Boulder, Colorado.

Kathleen has an unparalleled combination of experience in education that makes her ideally suited to be a school board member. Not only is she is a graduate of the district, she has been a parent in the district for over 25 years, and has served on several school and district committees. She clearly has a deep and thorough understanding of the issues specific to the Boulder Valley School District.

In addition, Kathleen has spent over 20 years working professionally in education, and currently teaches education law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She is the Executive Director of Children’s Voices, which is a “non-profit law firm of school advocates dedicated to achieving equal access to a high quality public education for all school-age children in Colorado.” Children’s Voices puts a special emphasis on working on behalf of special education students, English language learners, and children who live in poverty.

It is no surprise that Kathleen has received multiple endorsements, including the Boulder Valley Education Association and Boulder’s newspaper, the Daily Camera. The paper’s endorsement stated, “Kathy Gebhardt’s passion, experience and lifelong commitment to children make her the hands-down favorite and the candidate we endorse for the District C school board seat.”

Kevin Welner, professor at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education and director of the National Education Policy Center, has also endorsed Kathleen. He writes, “If school board members were hired through a normal application process, based on qualifications, Kathy would be hired immediately. No person in the state of Colorado is better qualified for such a position. She has worked tirelessly for two decades to get our children the supports and resources they need for their educations.”

NPE Action agrees that Kathleen’s qualifications are phenomenal, and we urge our members in Boulder to do everything they can to support Kathleen’s campaign. Please visit her website to learn more about her positions on the issues. We are sure you will agree that the Boulder Valley Schools will be well served by Kathleen, and hope you will donate or volunteer to help her win a seat on the school board.

John Thompson, historian and teacher in Oklahoma, sees the bright side in the Obama administration’s apparent step-back from the testing regime it so loved.

He feels certain that the administration will go through some serious contortions to avoid admitting that the past seven years of test-and-punish was an outright mistake.

They might not want to be known as phase 2 of the Bush-Obama education program.

The most important opening that he sees is a ray of sunlight in the retreat from value-added-measurement, which educators despise.

Who knew that the administration praises Minnesota’s educator evaluation plan, which values test scores at 1% or less?

Of course, the overwhelming majority of the nation’s educators would completely strip the test score growth component out of any accountability framework for individuals. The best we could previously do, however, was help kick the value-added can down the road. This wasted money and educators’ energy, but it kept invalid and unreliable test score growth models from inflicting too much damage in the short run. It did so under the assumption that states would eventually tire of flushing those resources down the toilet in order to appease the federal government.

Now, the USDOE is basically inviting that delaying tactic. It endorses the District of Columbia’s backtracking. D.C. had once proclaimed its value-added evaluations as a great success but now it is seen as a model because it “has temporarily removed its value-added measures from its teacher and leader evaluation systems and continues to focus on providing quality feedback on its Teaching and Learning Framework/Leadership Framework.”

The Obama administration has not only demanded that student growth models be used as a part of “multiple measures,” it has insisted that these flawed and destructive metrics must count anywhere from 35 to 50% of teachers’ evaluations. Being realists, some educators have tried to water down test score growth metrics so that they become meaningless and thus harmless.

It could be argued that we need to give reformers a fig leaf, and accept a miniscule portion of an evaluation – say 1% – so that we don’t hurt corporate reformers’ feelings as we “monkey wrench” their scheme. If systems want to waste incredible amounts of money on testing and computer systems for keeping score in order to avoid admitting a mistake, that’s on them.

Guess what? The administration now supports Minnesota’s plan which allows “its districts to include state assessment based growth at any percent (even less than 1 percent).” The administration apparently agreed to this because Minnesota can pretend that it is gauging student learning growth measured by other factors.

And that suggests the obvious first step. Oklahoma and other states should immediately grab the low-hanging fruit and stop the indefensible policy of using test score growth guesti-mates for sanctioning individuals. I’d hate to have to continue to waste scarce resources on test-driven accountability, but I’d be willing to engage in a discussion of whether bubble-in growth should count as .01% of 1%, or .5% or even .99% of 1% of a teacher’s evaluation. It would be a process worthy of The Onion.

I hadn’t known enough about the Minnesota waiver the administration now claims to read in such a manner. So, I’d missed the humor of the situation. If the administration is willing to contort itself into such a pretzel in order to free us from the quantitative portion of teacher evaluations, we should enjoy the ride. If it will go through such contortions to avoid admitting a mistake and to not offend the Billionaires Boys Club who dumped this fiasco on us, it should prompt more than groans.


Thompson says we should not be too hard on the administration. Give them credit–or at least that fig leaf–to salute their symbolic retreat from the testing disaster. Please note that Thompson counts Colorado’s testing mania as one of the worst in the nation, based on a law written by ex-TFA State Senator Michael Johnston, who became the state’s leading advocate of high-stakes testing with his obnoxious S. 191. Johnston received some sort of commendation at Harvard a few months ago, for unknown reasons. For sure, no educator in Colorado is grateful for his foisting high-stakes testing on everyone else.

So, Thompson’s advice is to encourage the administration to keep backtracking while the rest of us enjoy an unexpected outburst of good sense and perhaps a good belly laugh.

Colorado public television Brian Malone’s documentary about the “reform”movement, called “Education, Inc.” The showing was followed by a debate, involving pro- and anti- views. 

This is a huge breakthrough, first, because Brian was able to bring the issue to a public audience. And second, because Colorado is a major stronghold of the “reform” movement. Senator Michael Bennett, former superintendent of the Denver schools, is a favorite of DFER (the hedge funders and equity investors), which is a source of funding for privatization. At every election, whether state or local, out of state money pours in to assure reformster control. Colorado also has one of the worst, most punitive educator evaluations in the nation, thanks to State Senator Michael Johnston (ex-TFA).

The panel discussing Brian’s film included Brian, the president of the Independence Institute (ALEC), the vice-president of the Colorado Education Association, the leader of a pro-school choice group, and a reporter from “Chalkbeat.” 

Here is the link to the program, which is the debate about it. To learn more about Brian’s excellent film, go to his website.

By the way, it was funded by Brian Malone.

Colorado Chalkbeat reports that the opt out numbers were high in the state, especially for high school students. Only five of the state’s 20 large districts met the federal government’s requirement of a 95% participation rate. The greatest concentration of opt outs was in the 11th grade.

Changes are planned, but test critics don’t think it will make a difference. The biggest source of information and support for opting out was, apparently, students talking to other students.

The PARCC language arts and math tests were given in two sections, one in March and the second at the end of the school year. Many districts reported that opt-out rates were higher for the second set of tests.

High school assessments and the testing schedule both will change in 2016. Juniors won’t be tested in language arts and math, and there will be only a single testing “window” in April.

“I don’t claim to be a prophet, but, yeah, I expected high opt-out percentages,” said Republican Sen. Chris Holbert of Parker, who was heavily involved in legislative testing and opt-out debates. He also suggested high school refusal rates were significantly driven by students. “The awareness and them advocating to each other is more important.”

“Folks have been wondering where those big districts would fall. It’ll be an interesting convers what we do about those big districts with a high rate” of opt outs, said Bill Jaeger, a vice president with the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Jaeger served on the state task force that studied testing before the 2015 legislative session and has followed the issue closely.

As for the variation among districts, Jaeger said, “It’s an interesting finding to me, and there’s a whole host of explanations that I don’t think anyone’s explored.”

Noting testing changes made by both the legislature and the PARCC, Jaeger said, “It will be interesting to see if there is a restoration of confidence in the assessments.”

One testing critic, St. Vrain Superintendent Bob Haddad, doesn’t think that will happen.
“I don’t think it will make a difference,” Haddad said of testing reductions. “I don’t think you’re going to get parents and students back at the table … because there’s no trust” in the state testing system. “CMAS was summarily rejected by our students and parents.”

Jeff Bryant recounts the story of Jefferson County, Colorado, known as “Jeffco,” where parents are battling religious zealots and charter advocates for control of their community’s schools.


Sprawling westward from the Denver skyline, where the front range of the Rockies sharpens its ascension to the peaks, Jeffco, as the locals call it, is experiencing an acrimonious debate about its public schools.


At scores of house parties…, parents and public school activists circulate flyers and repeat a well-rehearsed message of dissent. They complain of a new school board majority that is secretive, disrespectful to parents and teachers and irresponsible with tax dollars. They warn of the influence of right-wing groups, some with connections to evangelical Christianity. They complain of a powerful charter school industry, different from the “organic charters” Jeffco parents already send their kids to.


Behind every grassroots issue they identify lies a much “bigger thing,” as more than one parent will tell you.


It’s a complicated narrative that defies stereotypes and neat polarities. Although the fight is political, Republicans and Democrats are distributed on both sides of the debate. The argument is about education, but it’s not an argument over pro-charter school versus anti-charter. Jeffco has had charters for years, many of which are highly popular with parents. Neither is this a narrative about choice versus anti-choice. Jeffco already allows parents to enroll their children in any school in the district (although there are cases of selective enrollment), and many families do opt for a school other than their neighborhood one.


Jeffco is a mostly white, middle-class and suburban school district that hardly resembles the “failing” school systems you’re used to hearing about. According to the district’s website, Jeffco students “outperform the state in all grade levels and content areas” on state mandated achievement tests. Six of the district’s high schools rank in the top 40 of the 2014 Best High Schools in America according to U.S. News & World Report, and 11 elementary schools were listed as 5280 Magazine’s top public elementary schools.


And Jeffco is not a community where teachers’ unions are defending their turf from disgruntled parents. Parents, not union operatives, lead the numerous and frequent house parties like the one at Green Mountain Church.
What is also true about Jeffco is that the story unfolding here is one that is recurring across the country, as community after community becomes mired in debates about who gets to call the shots in education systems strained by unending financial austerity and an unremitting “reform” agenda whose intent is unclear to the people in its way….
Who’s Messin’ With Jeffco?


Over coffee at a Lakewood Starbucks, Kyle Ferris’ mother Barbara now dismisses the national media’s focus on her son’s activism as “the flavor of the day.”


For sure, Ferris supported her son’s actions. “When Kyle came to me saying he and other students wanted to stage a walkout, my input was to encourage him to clearly state his reasons for the walkout,” she recalls.


What she values most about the protest is, “It got a group of kids to demonstrate the critical thinking they were taught in class,” she says. “It increased their awareness of other big issues.”


What other big issues?


“A lot of the problems have risen from the new board that emerged from the recent election,” Ferris explains. “We now have a majority that is influenced by the Tea Party with an agenda right out of right-wing talk radio.”


Ferris also worries about the growing influence of charter schools in the district, pointing to recent actions the board has taken to send more money to charter schools at a time when neighborhood schools still haven’t recovered from the effects of the recession. She says parents are still reeling from the impact of fees, imposed after the recession hit, for bus transportation and other services, and she wonders why funding sent to charter schools isn’t instead being used to end the fees.


Ferris is quick to add that she is not opposed to the idea of charter schools. But the urgency to establish more of them now escapes her. “Jeffco already has a phenomenal choice system,” she explains.


Ferris, an Asian American who decided with her husband to move to Jeffco “for the schools,” now sees a troubling landscape in her community. “We’ve got great schools; we’ve got great teachers,” she says. “I don’t want things to get messed up.”


“Everyone believes they are doing the right thing,” she says. “But we don’t believe in the same things.”
Nothing Funny About This


One belief most in dispute in Jeffco is the role of community voice in running the schools. That issue is especially central to the parent-led house parties. Shawna Fritzler and Jonna Levine are two Jeffco parents who often lead those events. In some respects, they’re a collaboration of opposites. Fritzler is a lifelong Republican, while Levine is an avowed Democrat. Fritzler still has children in Jeffco public schools, while Levine’s children have graduated and moved on. The issue that initially brought them together was the chronic underfunding, in their minds, of Jeffco schools. They both actively campaigned for a countywide referendum — a “mill levy and bond” issue — to offset budget cuts from the state. The referendum passed.


But the target of their ire now is the new conservative school board majority, elected in 2013. In that election, a slate of three candidates— Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams— ran together and branded themselves “WNW.” The three candidates got the backing of the Jefferson County GOP and an organization called Jeffco Students First, a state-based education advocacy group patterned after the controversial national organization StudentsFirst (founded and formerly led by Michelle Rhee, the former chancellor of Washington, DC public schools). StudentsFirst and its Colorado state version promote an “education reform” agenda that favors charter schools, vouchers, grading schools and educators based on student test scores, and drastically altering teacher compensation, performance evaluation, and job protection….



So who are the outsiders invading Jeffco schools, and what do they want?


Jeffco public school activists describe a strange combination of forces undermining their local control, from right-wing operatives and evangelical Christians to billionaire businessmen and charter school entrepreneurs. The declared intentions of these characters span the culture war spectrum: with some holding high the values of freedom and patriotism and others claiming to fight “the civil rights cause of our time.”


But the way these Jeffco parents and educators see it, their community is being picked over the way a glutton works the all-you-can-eat salad bar. He may start off with a small plate, but he’s quickly back for more.


The influence of outsiders, in fact, is one of the factors that doomed the new board majority to controversy even before they were elected.


Dougco Is Coming


As an article in the Denver Post documented in November 2013, days before the election, three wealthy businessmen contributed an out-sized quantity of money— more than $200,000— to school board races in Colorado, including the effort to elect Witt, Newkirk and Williams in Jeffco.


None of the three men appears to live in Jefferson County. The first, C. Edward McVaney is co-founder of software company J.D. Edwards and founding trustee of Valor Christian High School, an independent private Christian high school in Douglas County Colorado. McVaney has a propensity for donating to school board candidates around the state who favor school vouchers. The second is Denver businessman Ralph Nagel, president of Top Rock LLC, an investment firm. The third is Alex Cranberg, CEO of Aspect Energy, who Forbes describes as a “Texas oilman.” Cranberg’s notoriety stems primarily from his company’s venture into oil drilling in Iraq.


The reporters introduce the trio as, “Financial backers who want school districts to adopt the anti-union, pro-voucher, and school-choice model set by Douglas County.” Another wealthy man, also from Douglas County, hosted a fundraiser to elect the WNW team. According to reporters, the bash raised another $30,000….



Another major influencer in the public education system in Colorado has been Americans for Prosperity, the conservative organization founded by Charles and David Koch. As a report in Politico noted at the time of the Dougco school board race, “Americans for Prosperity is spending big” in support of candidates who favor an agenda of making schools “compete with one another for market share” and allowing tax money to go to religious education.


The reporter, Stephanie Simon, wrote, “Conservatives across the U.S. see Douglas County as a model for transforming public schools everywhere.”


Among those conservatives was former Florida governor, now declared presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, who donated $1,000 to each of the Koch-backed candidates in Dougco. Money raised for those conservatives dwarfed that raised for the challengers, ensuring a conservative win and establishing a theme that has been occurring throughout practically all of Colorado…..



Why Dougco?


There could be some justification for imposing the Dougco charter school model on Jeffco if there were real proof that model could generate genuine academic gains.


But based on analysis available at the Support Jeffco Kids website, there’s not much evidence it can.


One video posted on the site points out that the student demographics of the two districts are quite different, with Jeffco schools having a far more diverse spread of low-income versus upper-income students. Virtually all research shows that scores on standardized tests, the most commonly used metric for student achievement, are strongly correlated to family income, so taking student demographics into account is essential….


Another common argument for expanding charter schools is that they will bring innovation to a school district that has grown lazy due to “bureaucracy” and “complacent teachers.”


The influential charter school lobby in Colorado has promised that charters will be more “innovative” than public schools. But anyone who can’t find signs of innovation already in Jeffco public schools simply isn’t looking or has blinders on.


In fact, experts at the National Education Policy Center, a progressive education research center and think tank affiliated with the University of Colorado in Boulder, recently recognized two Jeffco high schools for being “Schools of Opportunity,” a designation for having “excellent practices designed to expand student opportunity and access to academic success,” according to the NEPC announcement.


NEPC’s School of Opportunity project analyzed schools in two states, Colorado and New York, based on 11 specific principles identified by experts as critical to closing “opportunity gaps” that exist between high-income school children and their lower income peers. Those principles include more and better learning time, a broader and richer curriculum, and attention to students’ individual academic, health and language needs.


The two Jeffco schools receiving this recognition were Jefferson County Open School, which received a Gold Medal, and Long View High School, which received Silver….



“I’m amazed and impressed at what we’re doing,” Fitzler says about Jeffco schools. “Is everything perfect? No. But you don’t tear down what’s working.”


Being a Republican, Fritzler initially needed to be convinced Jeffco public schools were being good financial stewards. She was also on the receiving end of the Republican messaging campaign that argued for budget cuts and more outsourcing to charter schools.


“So I looked for myself to see if there was any waste,” she says. “I didn’t find it. I was amazed at how far we were getting despite the cuts.”


So instead of tearing things down, what would Fritzler like to see instead?


“I want my school back,” she answers. “This is our community. We could leave if we want. But these are our schools.”


Levine adds, “They look at school governance like it’s a business decision. But it’s not a business decision. You can’t run a school district like a business … I want a board willing to treat community as partners. They go through the motions of doing this but they don’t do it….”



One thing parents in Jeffco believe for sure is they should have more of a democratic say-so in how their schools are run. Do their adversaries believe the same? Apparently, not so much.


*Correction: This article originally identified Lesley Dahlkemper as the current school board president; her correct title is in fact 2nd vice president.


A few days ago, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the voucher plan adopted by the school board in Douglas County was unconstitutional. It was a split decision. It is puzzling that it was a split decision, because the Colorado state constitution explicitly prohibits any public funding of religious institutions.
Text of Section 7:
Aid to Private Schools, Churches, Sectarian Purpose, Forbidden.


Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian society, or for any sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever; nor shall any grant or donation of land, money or other personal property, ever be made by the state, or any such public corporation to any church, or for any sectarian purpose.


s Hess at the American Enterprise Institute writes in the National Review that the U.S. Supreme Court might well decide to throw out this part of the state constitution because it was written in the late 1870s as a Protestant ban on funding Catholic schools. Such amendments, found in 2/3 of the states’ constitutions, are known as Blaine amendments for James G. Blaine of New York, who led the movement to keep public money out of religious schools.

According to the Denver Post, the Douglas County school board plans to appeal the ruling that declared vouchers unconstitutional. It will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The voucher program, which would use taxpayer money to send children to private schools, was put on hold in 2011 just as the first 304 students were about to enroll. Most planned to attend religious schools.

“The court found the program conflicts with “broad, unequivocal language forbidding the State from using public money to fund religious schools.”

“Wrote the court “… this stark constitutional provision makes one thing clear: A school district may not aid religious schools.”

The article describes the county as a “wealthy suburban district.”

School board officials promised to fight for vouchers:

“During a news conference Monday morning, Douglas County school officials indicated they likely would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case for consideration. They also said they will immediately seek a legal way to proceed with vouchers.”

The Supreme Court of Colorado struck down the voucher program in Douglas County. It is unconstitutional, the justices said.

After a radical group won control of the public schools of Douglas County in Colorado, they enacted a plan for vouchers. Being a relatively affluent community, there was no baloney about “saving poor kids from failing schools.” The point was privatization of public funds intended for public schools.

Here is the story, as told by the nonpartisan group that brought the suit, called Taxpayers for Public Education.

Contact: Cindy Barnard

CO Supreme Court Strikes Down Vouchers

Douglas County Program Found to Violate State Constitution

“Denver, CO June 29, 2015) In a landmark legal decision today, the Colorado State Supreme Court struck down the Douglas County School District (DCSD) voucher program. In the case of Taxpayers for Public Education, et al., v. Douglas County School District, et al., the Court found that the program violates the Colorado Constitution.

“This is a great victory for public school children in Colorado,” said Cindy Barnard, President of Taxpayers for Public Education (TFPE), one of the plaintiffs in the case. “The DCSD voucher program took taxpayer funds, intended for public education, and used that money to pay for private school education for a few select students. The decision means that money set aside for public education in Colorado can only be used the way it was intended to be used- for the betterment of education in Colorado public schools.”

“In this groundbreaking case, Michael McCarthy and Colin Deihl of the Denver office of Faegre Baker Daniels represented Taxpayers for Public Education pro bono. Other plaintiffs and intervenors in the suit included children and parents of the Douglas County School District, Douglas County citizens and several local and national organizations that support a strong and vital public education system.

“As we celebrate this important victory, we have to continue to closely watch the leaders of the Douglas County School District as they look to implement other programs and methods to intentionally erode the quality of public education in their own district,” said Barnard.

“Details of the Court’s ruling can be found on the Taxpayer for Public Education website at ”


About Taxpayers for Public Education:
Taxpayers for Public Education, (TFPE), is a Colorado-based, bi-partisan, 501c4 organization. The members are Colorado taxpayers and parents of children enrolled in public schools. TFPE supports public education and believes that a strong public education system is instrumental in building and maintaining an extraordinary workforce that will keep American companies and American entrepreneurship viable and robust to meet the challenges in the years ahead.

For more information, please visit:


Cindy Barnard
President, Taxpayers for Public Education
(303) 905-3803

Anne Kleinkopf
Director, Taxpayers for Public Education
(720) 219-6253

Michael McCarthy
Attorney, Faegre Baker Daniels
(303) 607-3670

Mason Barnard

Plaintiff/Former Douglas County Student

(303) 518 – 7939


The Pearson server crashed in Colorado as tens of thousands of students were taking online assessments in science and social studies.

It was not what you would call an opt out, but it had the same effect. The Brave Néw World of online assessment is not quite ready for prime time.


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