DPS made the wrong call in clos­ing three el­e­men­tary schools

The Denver Post - - NEWS - Re: Henry Ro­man, Bob Lam­beth,

“DPS clo­sures are tough but needed,” Dec. 20 ed­i­to­rial.

The Den­ver Class­room Teach­ers Association (DCTA) strongly dis­agrees with the clo­sure of Amesse, Green­lee and Gilpin Montes­sori el­e­men­tary schools. We’re not con­vinced the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process al­lowed for con­cerns of the com­mu­nity to be prop­erly heard and con­sid­ered.

The clo­sures are pred­i­cated on the no­tion that schools are “fail­ing.” Yet when Gilpin Montes­sori in­tro­duced data demon­strat­ing its fi­nal School Qual­ity Re­view (SQR) score (which de­ter­mines whether doors stay open or closed) was in­cor­rect, the district re­fused to ac­knowl­edge it. Also, the board meet­ing failed to ac­com­mo­date the num­bers of par­ents and teach­ers at­tend­ing to ar­gue against clo­sures.

The DCTA is com­mit­ted to teacher and school de­vel­op­ment. But that re­quires sup­port with ac­count­abil­ity. District lead­ers are not ac­count­able when they are un­re­spon­sive to needs of schools, do not com­mit to Montes­sorispe­cific pro­gram­ming com­mu­ni­ties seek, close schools show­ing im­prove­ment and pre-de­ter­mine de­ci­sions with­out com­mu­nity in­put.

This was hardly a de­ci­sion that strength­ened the com­mu­nity voice.

Lit­tle­ton The writer is pres­i­dent of the Den­ver Class­room Teach­ers Association.

BBB As a for­mer teacher, it amazes me how even now, ad­min­is­tra­tors feel that school clo­sure is good, sound pol­icy. Ed­u­ca­tion is like a three-legged stool: teacher, stu­dent, par­ent. All must work in con­cert to help the child learn and move for­ward. Chil­dren do not go to school to learn how to take tests. They should be learn­ing about and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the love of learn­ing.

Is this mea­sur­able? I don’t know, but it is the best way to ed­u­cate a child. Down­town, as we used to call the school district, is so far re­moved from the lo­cal school, they are en­abled to ex­ist in their own world, where chil­dren are re­duced to test tak­ers, and goofy fixes are sent to lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tors for im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The de­ci­sions to be made in a child’s ed­u­ca­tion are the role of the teacher, the child and the par­ent. Re­form the roles of teach­ers, chil­dren and par­ents and you will see chil­dren emerg­ing from our schools lov­ing to learn.

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