John Hickenlooper comes out in support of school finance ballot measure

Categories: Denver Blogs

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Denver blog posts are back.

Colorado Pols on Hick's plan to support the school finance ballot measure -- which Colorado Peak Politics doesn't exactly endorse.

Coyote Gulch: Is the fine for a Parachute Creek chemical spill a mere slap on the wrist.

Denver Frank knows you know.

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RobertChase topcommenter

Thew problem with the ballot measure to fund schools is that despite Colorado's inarguably inadequate support for education, public secondary education in Colorado (and elsewhere) has no integrity, and too many Coloradans know it.  When perhaps half of all high school diplomas are awarded to unqualified students, the system is on the verge of collapse; the proof lies in the gradual transformation of many State colleges into remediation centers.  The desire  to be inclusive and retain students who are failing to master academic skills has progressively eroded academic standards and debased the value of a public education to a catastrophic extent.   The solution may lie in creating new institutions of socialization and vocational training that complement academic courses of instruction -- now, the main alternative to traditional schools are juvenile detention centers and jails.  A system offering academic, vocational, and public service work as more-or-less co-equal institutions that permits students the maximum opportunity to participate and move between all three is desperately needed.

A lack of competence in the administration of our schools (as opposed to instruction) and a determination to keep on doing what demonstrably is not working likely will doom the ballot measure.  The public dialog about education is fixated on the wrong issues entirely -- teachers are qualified, but their representatives are generally in bed with those maladministering education.  The rhetoric coming from the ranks mostly consists of broad-brush indictments of standardized testing.  While the chaos in the administration of our educational system has resulted in too much testing, the main onus on it is that it reveals the appalling failure of the system.  Teachers have by and large meekly accepted the mistaken imposition of compensation based on the performance of their charges, despite the fact that most teachers are already qualified or highly qualified to teach their subjects, and this exacerbates teachers' hostility towards testing.  As long as the educational establishment keeps emphasizing the retention of students and graduation from failing programs, prospects for restoring academic integrity to secondary education are essentially nil, and pushing for more funding of a broken system may well fail statewide, even if Denver just signed away $500,000,000 it doesn't have in commitments to the present administration of its own egregiously failing schools.  People who support public education need to start singing a different tune, or this and future ballot measures to fund education will go down to the same ignominious defeat that Rollie Heath's Proposition 103 did two years ago.

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