Commerce City schools have no more excuses | Denver Gazette

The biggest unreported story of Colorado’s 2022 election may be the impact of two new seats on the Colorado State Board of Education, both won by anti-reform Democrats, and what that stands for the perpetually dysfunctional school district of Adams 14 in Commerce City. I am a product of Adams 14, having graduated from Adams City High School years ago. I have also been a licensed substitute teacher in Colorado since 1996, with classroom experience in Denver Public Schools. As a lifelong resident of Commerce City, I watched the decline of Adams 14 with enormous disgust.

This district has no more excuses for its poor performance. Rather than face his failure, he manipulates and blames everyone. In the summer of 2021, Adams 14 hired a new superintendent, Karla Loría, deliberately to sabotage authority and ultimately remove the external principal appointed by the Colorado State Board of Education to lead the district. These two public entities have been in a power struggle ever since.

Adams 14 lost state credential twice, only to have it restored twice after carefully orchestrated state board guilt trips, and he recently assembled a group of superintendents from Denver-area school district to sign a letter of support extolling the virtues of absolute local control at the expense of student success.

Joe Salazar, the professional victimization attorney for Adams 14, is not a resident of Commerce City and does not speak for most citizens as he pursues ongoing litigation. Yes, this neighborhood is an oppressed area struggling for a sense of pride, mired in poverty, surrounded by polluters, and left as a dumping ground by a city government more interested in developing the city’s wealthier neighborhoods into another school district.

So what? When students leave Adams 14, they must compete in the real world. They don’t get passes because they grew up in a troubled place. Public education is supposed to be the way out. As a former Democratic candidate and former Democratic candidate for statewide office in Colorado, I am amazed that so many “progressive” types proclaim equal rights and social justice while ignoring the evidence. The best way to serve communities of color in particular, and the poor in general, is to GET CHILDREN OUT OF FAILING SCHOOLS!

The district’s assessment test scores are pathetically low. The official excuse is that the tests are in English, which is not the language of many Adams 14 students. Unfair, isn’t it? No, that’s the cold hard definition of fairness. Every student in Colorado takes the same tests. When those of Adams 14 do not score well, it is an indication of problems to come. Rather than challenging students – and themselves – to do better, Adams 14 “leaders” exist in an alternate reality where students are deceived and become objects of pity destined for a future of jobs without issue of low pay and second-rate opportunities. .

This has been happening for decades. The Colorado State Board of Education has issued warning after warning, finally taking action in recent years. The state council is currently implementing a reorganization plan – just in time for the newly elected members to undermine the plan. What the state board needs to do is appoint a new outside manager to function as the superintendent of Adams 14, not the outrageous Loría. This external manager must approve all hires and direct all operations. If Adams 14 does not comply, disband the district and hand over control to a charter school system. Instead, the continuous nonsense will continue.

Guess the poor kids in a place like Commerce City deserve nothing better.

Burke Scot Beu is a Commerce City resident, full-time staff member of a nonprofit in Denver, and an unaffiliated voter. He is a former administrator of the Rangeview Library District in Adams County, having served with now-elected U.S. Representative Yadira Caraveo. He was the Democratic nominee for CU Regent at-large in 2000.

Burke Scot Beu is a Commerce City resident, full-time staff member of a nonprofit in Denver, and an unaffiliated voter. He is a former administrator of the Rangeview Library District in Adams County, having served with now-elected U.S. Representative Yadira Caraveo. He was the Democratic nominee for CU Regent at-large in 2000.

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