May 1st: Join R.A.V.E. in Colorado
Post By Stefanie Fuhr, Former teacher, parent, R.A.V.E. member
RAVE’s May 1st meeting will be an exciting opportunity to show the few that we are many, and we are ready to reclaim our public schools.
As a professional educator, I actually came to Colorado thinking this state had public schools where authentic teaching and learning took place. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Now as a wife and parent of three children, I will do whatever it takes to return our schools to our children and their communities.
Many districts in Colorado, as well as across this country, have been hit by a locally controlled and state controlled reform movement. The Denver and Douglas County School Districts have been taken over by a political agenda meant to destroy our public schools and to replace them with a business model which defines our children by numbers. Interestingly enough, both districts have opposite political majorities with Dougco consisting of a strongly conservative district while Denver is known to be more liberal. Yet, they are both implementing similar market-based policies – proliferation of charter schools/choice, teacher accountability systems based on what they call student performance, a move towards standardization, a loss of teacher rights, and elected school boards/administration that are filled with propaganda and outside money.
The local and state democratic leadership at a recent town hall I attended spoke the same language as the conservative school board members in Douglas County. Do not be fooled as both political parties are controlling and pushing this corporate reform!
And while Denver has had reform the longest, with Dougco a close second, all Colorado districts are facing corporate reform. It appears that Aurora Public Schools is also beefing up its administrative office with new administrative job openings totaling close to 20 new positions; this can only mean greater top-down management and less funding to decrease the incredibly high class sizes currently existing in many APS schools.
In fact, there is not one district that is not feeling education reform. Another part of the reform agenda is to standardize the system and test the heck out of our children in order to see if we are standardizing them enough. We have to collect data. This past week a Littleton teacher friend could not meet me during her lunch break due to all of the testing and accommodations which require certain students to be tested at different times and in different settings than their peers. The district had just gotten back from spring break to be immersed in CMAS testing as well as district assessments including DRA and MAPS. On top of that, younger kids were getting ready to be tested their 3rd time in a district wide math assessment – and all grades are also expected to do their final writing prompt test.
These reforms, which are not best for kids but for corporations’ pockets, make RAVE a necessity. It’s time for the vast majority to reclaim what our democracy needs in our public schools: A place where all children are given opportunities to reach their potential as they prepare for their societal civic duties.
Join us May 1st as we organize to reclaim our public schools!