Accountability? Not in Jeffco with Mitchell, Rupert & Harmon.

In a blow to transparency and students and parents at low performing schools in the District, the incumbent Board members don’t think that low performing schools should be accountable to the Board.

In response to a question during the October 25th Candidate Forum:

“Would you support low performing schools having to come to the Board to discuss improvement plans?”

Mitchell, Harmon and Rupert replied “No”, while Shields and Van Gieson replied “Yes”.

I guess this isn’t a surprise as the current Board doesn’t seem to want to hold anyone accountable for the atrocious education achievement and growth we see in Jeffco.

You would normally think that the Superintendent would have a vested interest in improving education results, but didn’t the Board let him completely off the hook by giving him a compensation package that contained NO education performance incentives similar to what the two previous Superintendent’s had?

The pattern, and culture, is that accountability doesn’t seem to be high on the list of priorities for our current Board members, and that isn’t good for our kids and District. These are just examples of a “We don’t care about education results” attitude in our District, that starts from the top.

But to make things worse, isn’t the Board hypocritical when they fully support performance reviews for the 3-5 year Charter renewals?

In a second question, the candidates were asked:

“Charters come before the Board every 3-5 years for renewal consideration. Would you support having neighborhood schools do the same for performance reviews?”

Again, Mitchell, Harmon and Rupert replied “No”, while Shields and Van Gieson replied “Yes”.

However, Mitchell added he didn’t support these reviews because:

“We don’t have contracts with our neighborhood schools”

To which Harmon agreed.

It is absolutely shocking to hear Board members emphatically state that they don’t have “contracts’ with our neighborhood schools.

Isn’t it the Board’s job to ensure high-quality education? Isn’t it the job of Board members to hold the Superintendent, Principals and teachers accountable for providing high-quality education and obtaining results? Isn’t that a contract with the students, parents and taxpayers of this District? Is the Board saying the District doesn’t have a contract with the neighborhood school to pay the principal and teachers to provide high-quality education? What are principals and teachers getting paid for then?

In my career, employees usually get paid to deliver results and are held accountable for providing value in exchange for earning that salary. I guess that our Board views things differently here in Jeffco.

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