The Myriad Lame Excuses for Jeffco’s Disastrous 2019 Assessment Scores

The scores were bad, but the variety of excuses for the atrocious results seemed endless. Brad Rupert started the Board discussion by attempting to blame the scores on the 5A/5B vote. I just can’t comprehend how that vote would affect scores. Not only was the vote in early November, but how were the kids involved? If the kids weren’t involved, then what Brad really meant was that the teachers were so involved in the vote that they weren’t properly performing their jobs. Is that what he was saying? JCEA probably wouldn’t agree with that, but wasn’t it really an attempt at shifting blame – from the teachers responsible for the scores to … teachers?

Brad’s next attempt was to blame the scores on the shift to the K-5, 6-8 model. Yet, once again, under scrutiny, this attempt backfires. The Board promised the community that the move to the 6-8 model would be good for kids. Growth drops of 7 points in both ELA and Math and real drops of 3 / 4 points doesn’t seem like it was good for the kids. This excuse once again only highlights the poor operational aspects of the move. And, who should bear ultimate responsibility for these scores? Teachers? Isn’t that their job? But, certainly no one will ever mention them as having responsibility for the drop. And, how did this move affect the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th grade CMAS scores? What about the PSAT and SAT drops? Lame, lame lame, Brad.

The next attempt at an excuse was Kris Schuh’s “we anticipated an implementation dip” excuse. Really? The District “anticipated” a dip? If a good organization “anticipates” something, don’t they plan for it? Since there was no mitigation, that must make Jeffco schools not a very good organization. In fact, it doesn’t seem like Jeffco did any planning for the “anticipated” dip at all. The “additional planning time” seemed like a knee-jerk, desperation attempt to stave off legitimate Board questions on what the District was doing. In addition, Flores didn’t have an answer for what the District would be doing to help PSAT and SAT scores. ‘Anticipated’? It seems far from it. Flores also stated that scores should be looked at through the lens of the DUIP. Yet, the DUIP showed that scores would increase for the 2018-19 school year. That doesn’t support the “anticipated dip” excuse from Schuh. Someone wasn’t telling the truth – either the person who wrote the DUIP and didn’t include the “anticipated dip” or Schuh in making up the lame “anticipated dip” excuse.

To top the list of excuses, the District attempted to blame a dead teenager, Sol Pais, for the fact that 2 schools didn’t get enough students to school to take the tests. That’s 2, just 2 out of how many? 100+ schools? And Jason Glass really expects people to believe that?

Having bad results is one thing. Good organizations have solid, concrete and measurable plans for improvement. Jason Glass and Jeffco demonstrated their complete and utter incompetence by not having those plans, but instead only producing lame excuses and half-baked and wish-washy plans, with no realistic chance for success to the Board.

Unfortunately, the Board let Glass and his merry band of incompetents off the hook too easily.

It’s time for a change of Board members and Glass. With 5 years now as a Superintendent in Colorado, Glass needs to be put under a critical lens as he has no track record of improving academic performance in either of the two Districts he’s been in.

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