Or, should we all be more concerned when the new Superintendent, with the stated goal of bridging the divide in the community, 2 days into his position, labels someone with potentially different views than his “community critic”? This is what is most disappointing to me. If he truly wants to listen to all sides, then no one should be a “critic”.

In his blog, Jason Glass labeled me “community critic” while posting a twitter exchange we had regarding the Profile of an Ideal Jeffco Graduate.

Since I prefer to think of myself as a GT and education advocate, I was insulted when I read that label.

Yet, Dictionary.com defines “critic” as:


  1. a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes.
  2. a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works,dramatic or musical performances, or the like, especially for anewspaper or magazine.
  3. a person who tends too readily to make captious, trivial, or harsh judgments; faultfinder.

Initially, I applied definition number 3 to the label. However, my wife counseled that definition number 1 may be applicable. The truth is, I don’t know what definition Glass applied to me. However, I do think that someone who loudly and proudly touts his 2 master’s degrees and PhD would understand that the word “critic” is ambiguous enough to mean different things to different people.

I would also think that someone who touts Deliberative Democracy would treat participants in his conversations with civility and respect (“Conscientious”) and labeling participants doesn’t necessarily meet that criteria.

The bottom line is that I’m extremely disappointed in Dr. Glass in his labeling of me as “community critic”. Am I the only “critic” in the community? I think not. Was his intent to intimidate anyone else with different views to keep those views to themselves for fear of also being labeled “community critic”? Again, I don’t know. But, I will say it is not going to intimidate me. Actually, it will have the opposite effect.

Therefore, I’ve decided that I’m going to proudly embrace the label, and role, of “community critic” until such time as we can truly and freely have real conversations about education issues in our district. The district is divided, and it will remain divided until both sides feel that they are being listened to, middle ground is found and compromises made. 5 – 0 votes with no real and meaningful discussion aren’t going to get us there. And, being ignored, as I feel I’ve been for 5 months after suggesting that a collaborative committee be formed to discuss sustainable funding for the District’s HS GT program, certainly doesn’t get us there either. The only thing that does is turn couch potatoes, like myself, into GT and education advocates and “community critics”.

Let the criticism continue!