Nate Easley recall: DPS board president fights back with fliers, robocalls, political allies

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Nate Easley.
Nate Easley is fighting back. The Denver Public Schools board president is the subject of a recall effort backed by voters unhappy with some of his policies, especially his votes to shutter under-performing schools. Recall proponents have until the end of March to collect 5,363 signatures in order to place the recall question on an upcoming ballot. Meanwhile, Easley is working to make sure that doesn't happen -- and he has significant political support.

Last week, we told you about robocalls recorded on Easley's behalf by former Denver mayor Wellington Webb. The calls urge voters in Easley's district of northeast Denver not to sign the petition to recall him.

"We're going to fight like the dickens to make sure Nate continues to be a member of the Denver school board," Webb told Westword. "He's making tough decisions for what's in the best interest of our kids."

Now, Easley and his supporters have printed a flier titled "Decline to Sign!" It calls the recall attempt "a misguided effort" and responds to allegations that Easley's job as deputy director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation is a conflict of interest. It also includes an impressive list of supporters, including Governor John Hickenlooper.

See a photo of the flier below.

decline to sign! flier_nate easley.jpg

Asked about his strategy for fighting the recall attempt, Easley was direct.

"The strategy is to protect myself," he says. "They've issued a lot of personal attacks on me. What I hear from people is that when they ask people to sign the petition against me, they're not saying, 'He has a conflict of interest.' They're saying, 'Sign this if you want to keep schools open.'" That, Easley says, isn't accurate.

"My focus is on student achievement and making sure we have better outcomes for students," he says. "A good way to do that is by reforming schools."

Easley says he stands behind his votes and that he's "not worried" about the recall attempt. But, he adds, "at same time, we have to take it seriously.

"There are a lot of falsehoods going on right now about me and what I stand for," he says. "I want to correct those. If voters know who I really am, I have nothing to worry about."

More from our Education archive: "Graduation rates: 72.4 percent of Colorado high school students finished "on time" in 2010."

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Ben1
Ben1

I went to the Diane Ravitch appearance. She speaks the truth. I was a part of the reopening of Manual. Funny how that school was regularly in the news but now you never hear about it. You know why? Kids were never at the heart of the decision making there. It was Bennett's ticket into the Senate. Can we hold him responsible for Manual's outcome? I suppose not. Can we hold the people who are "turning around" Montbello accountable when the same result happens there? It won't matter what type of schools you offer out in Montbello. These decision makers continually fail to address the actual barriers of learning and instead of being held accountable they move on to escape scrutiny. Get rid of Easley now before its too late and he's moved on.

Allie
Allie

If he was so worried about the students' he would look into why teachers were not being renewed when their probationary contract was up. I taught for DPS for 3 years and my students scores rose every year. In fact our scores were so high that we received the bonus every year and we also were asked as teachers what we did to help increase our student's scores. Nate Easley is a friend of a principal and was called upon when things were not treated like they should be and his was response was to leave it alone. My students and parents were upset and astonished that I was not asked to come back. Several other teachers have been treated this way in DPS and several of these teachers reputations are now tarnished because of the judegment or prejudice of the principal. Nate Easley allowed these kinds of things to happen to the teachers at DPS so maybe it is just KARMA!

Fred
Fred

Notably absent from the list of folks on the flyer is Sen. Michael Bennet, funny because he is leading the charge behind the scenes. "Bennet's people" have tried to disrupt this recall and the coming Diane Ravitch speech. Bennet has his former campaign manager Craig Hughes leading the counter-recall. Why? Because Bennet does not want transparency for the Denver Public Schools -- especially regarding his terrible financing deal. We all know what a weasel Bennet is, but he won't even put his name to this flyer?

Ms. Valentine
Ms. Valentine

In reading the response from Nate Easley, for me to support his recall was a "no brainer." It is not a question of "why now?", but why did it take so long? His interests in education has become very clouded and are not in the best interests of our children, but for people with political power and special interest groups at the expense of our children?

When you vote for a person, as I supported Easley and Seawell, you give that person a chance to perform as you try to choose the "best person for the job," who will perform up to your expectations based on your values, morals, and interests. Easley, struck out three times with me violating all three reasons I supported and voted for him. The first, being right before he was elected and he was campaigning and came to our House 7A meeting in Montbello and he was told by several parents, all of their similar personal stories of the horrible negative environment that was at Montbello High School and how parents and their children were being treated. I guess he forgot, as we seen no changes as they still continue to this day. SEcond, right after he was elected into office I personally went to him at the County Assembly held on the DU campus and reported the child abuse, falsifying of documents, including a police report that the DPS/Montbello was subjecting my daughter to. DPS staff and administration loosing their jobs behind, but Easley, our newly elected official, just threw his hands up as if he had just been robbed and stated, "I just deal with policy." AND HE DID NOTHING. As I could not believe my ears, I knew then he was NOT the man for this job. Disgusted and disappointed, I was done supporting the man who I casted my vote for just a very short time before. Strike three, was the reform efforts by DPS supported by Nate Easley. After researching and reading document after document of corruption, ethics issues, and mass hysteria all at the expense of the city's children. This was now just not only my child, but many children. I already knew it is time for him to go and yes parents need to know how he really is and how he is just rubber stamping all of the wrongdoing within the district. Just as the 750 million that is due to be paid in August from the "Bad Deal Pension Merger" that may be defaulted and 14 schools (included East High School) are at risk of being lost to the lender. So when does he actually start spanking Tom's hand. Not going to happen, because Tom is him boss. Like I said...rubber stamp. Ms. Valentine, ParentFar Northeast Denver

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Interesting post, Ms. Valentine. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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