Reader: "DPS felt I was disposable"
"Game Time," Off Limits, April 10
The sun is out and the weather is gorgeous, so therefore my neighborhood smells like 4/20. Can't wait to see how bad it will be in a few days.
I'm writing to thank you for telling me about isthereafuckingrockiesgame.com. That is a truly practical website for anyone downtown. He just needs to change it to isthereafuckinggametoday and have it searchable for pro and college sports by zip code, and he's all set.
I'll wait for isthereisafuckingbroncosgame next.
"Wrong Answer," Melanie Asmar, April 10
Thank you so much for your article about Denver Public Schools teachers fighting back; I'm happy to say that I feel like you have reported this information truthfully. I was voluntarily RIBed last year and left DPS because of these practices. When I went to the job fair last year, a principal actually asked me what I was doing there because I wasn't "like these other people." I guess that meant that I wasn't older and wiser. DPS won't even interview some of my older colleagues who aren't RIBed but are looking to change schools. It's a shameful practice that has demoralized a largely female workforce, all of whom are only in it to work with high-needs students. I now work for another district and still receive awesome evaluations, even though DPS felt I was disposable due to my RIBed status.
Thank you for the informative article regarding the harm being done to experienced teachers as DPS uses Senate Bill 191 to force veteran teachers from their positions and leave them adrift in unpaid leave. This tactic allows Denver administrators to not be held accountable for what their actions actually achieve: the firing of older teachers who are being replaced with younger ones who cost less and are less likely to speak out. When 44 percent of the new hires in the 2013-'14 school year were under thirty and 10 percent came from Teach for America, it is disingenuous for Superintendent Tom Boasberg to deny that money is a factor. When he claims that forced placement is a "civil-rights travesty," he fails to address how assigning Teach for America youngsters with five weeks of training to high-needs classrooms benefits these students.
As a retired teacher with 25 years of experience in an urban school system, the system in place for Denver students has deeply disappointed and saddened me. I believe their process called "school choice" should be called what it really is: a lottery system that has served to destroy many neighborhood schools. This leaves families without connections to their schools or their neighborhoods. Instead, those who can afford the gas spend their time driving miles to and from schools instead of attending strong schools in their own neighborhoods. Once they arrive at their schools, they are faced with an educational system driven by data collection through wasted days focused on standardized testing. The students of Denver and their families deserve better.
Name withheld on request
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.