COLUMN: Teachers’ union at war with Douglas County School District | Denver Gazette
It’s time for another test of the teachers’ union’s deadly grip on Colorado’s public education. Again, the target is the Douglas County School District. I say “again” because DCS has been targeted before and it has become a frequent pattern in our state and across the country.
In 2009, DCS voters chose to break the mold and effectively elected a conservative majority to their school board, previously controlled by recruited, funded and loyal members of the teachers’ union. This new council majority pursued reforms that included a rigorous curriculum of core academics, school choice, de-emphasis on social engineering, and decertification of the teachers’ union. The union’s counterattack, aided by the liberal media, was swift and ruthless. The misrepresentation of council policies was rampant, and the union propaganda was met with enthusiasm by like-minded supporters and teachers – who had voted overwhelmingly against the Tory candidates – as well as by enough well-meaning but politically-minded football mums naive. The board returned to a pro-union majority in 2013.
This model has been reproduced in JeffCo. After voters elected a rare Conservative majority to its school board in 2013, the union and its coalition used the same tactic to oust those board members in a 2015 recall election, returning the union’s lackeys to power. in their place.
It was before, it is now. In 2021, a majority of parents and taxpayers won an upset victory in the race for governor of Virginia, revolting against teachers’ unions and the progressive indoctrination of their children in public schools. In this blue state, they elected Republican Glenn Youngkin who ran largely on a platform of school reform. Whether this is an isolated event or the start of a national trend remains to be seen.
DCS voters followed suit in 2021 and once again elected a Conservative majority to their school board, rejecting the pro-union Progressive slate. I hope it’s because they’ve seen the light, like the Virginians, because the DCS teachers’ union has already launched its counterattack. Their fingerprints are all over the place in an effort to force a recall election to weed out the newly elected Conservatives.
“Bloodyshirt agitation” is a political ploy (with roots in the Civil War) whereby an event or issue is used as a symbolic bloodshirt to elicit outrage and partisan support. In DCS, the bloody shirt dropped by the union and its remaining council allies is Superintendent Corey Wise, who was recently fired by the council’s new conservative majority.
Wise was a teacher and administrator in the district for 26 years. Mike Peterson, the new board chair, says Wise favored the progressive agenda of the previous board and that his vision didn’t align with the direction of reform taken by the new board. It is not uncommon for a new board to change supervisors and seek someone they believe is a better fit than the incumbent, the sooner the better. The radically progressive new board of the Denver Public School District recently did just that. As superintendent of DCS, Wise serves at the pleasure of the board under the terms of his contract which presumably provides for severance in the event of dismissal. New presidents, governors, mayors and CEOs also change appointed staff as they see fit. There is nothing controversial in that. The opposition’s claim that the majority of the DCS board violated sun laws during the Wise removal process is also a baseless ruse.
Just as this was a critical issue in the Virginia Parent Uprising, the majority of the board plans to review and revise DCS’s policy on equity instruction. (“Equity” is the sneaky password for the worst elements of anti-white, anti-white, neo-Marxist critical race theory). It’s not surprising. It was a major issue on which they ran as candidates and was instrumental in their election.
The union has also encouraged the recent illness of teachers protesting Wise’s dismissal and is spreading rumors that teachers and other staff may quit because of it. It’s part of the familiar script they used in 2009, the last time a Conservative council was elected. Fear not, others will fill vacancies and DCS will remain well-staffed.
Predictably, the students got in on the act by staging their own walkouts. They stand up for their teachers and profit from empowering student activism, chanting meaningless slogans like “people over politics”. They fail to understand that politics is the raison d’etre of teachers’ unions, working to elect progressive Democrats to legislatures and school boards, who reciprocate and advance special union interests. Most students do not recognize that they are politically indoctrinated in the classroom. And they do not distinguish between individual teachers and the self-serving agenda of teacher unions. The same unions that say their first concern is for students, have demanded the unnecessary school closures that have hurt so many of those students during the pandemic while frontline workers in health care, nursing homes , supermarkets, airports, etc. stayed at work. . The union’s primary concern is always for its dues-paying members.
Michael Rosen is an American radio personality and political commentator.