Aurora schools chief accuses critic of exploiting kids
A school advocacy group that claims reforms have done little to help the students in Aurora Public Schools is only exploiting problems in the district to gain recognition and funding, Superintendent Rico Munn said Wednesday.
Munn said a report issued Wednesday by the nonprofit A+Colorado ignores new realities in the district, where reforms aimed at fighting low graduation rates and halting dropouts are taking hold slowly.
“Organizations such a A+ demand that school districts see the world through their lens and follow their particular directives,” said Munn. “Their focus on ‘facts’ is a thinly veiled effort to secure funding, promote their agenda and expand their brand on the backs of Aurora students.”
“Our focus,” Munn added, “remains on improving outcomes for our students.”
Van Schoales, CEO of A+ Colorado, said Munn is attacking the organization to deflect attention from the district’s “own lackluster performance rather than honestly reflect on what needs to happen to improve achievement in Aurora.”
“If APS leadership is so focused on implementing a ‘reform strategy’ and academic improvement, why is there no evidence of their work?” Schoales said. “It’s been nearly four years since this administration started its work.”
Wednesday’s report by A+ Colorado is a followup to a 2015 report created by a coalition of 17 community and education groups. Based on data from five previous years, it outlined worries that the district’s troubles are placing its schools at risk for losing state accreditation. It said that only about five of every 10 students in the Aurora district graduate from high school.