Opposition to DPS closing three elementary schools (2 letters)

DPS Closes Schools
Denver Post file. A student at Denver’s Greenlee Elementary School looks at his teacher on Feb. 18. Greenlee is one of three schools that DPS decided last week to close.

Many community organizations have joined Gilpin Parents in holding Denver Board of Education and Superintendent Boasberg accountable for their decision to close Gilpin based on an ideology of testing as the main or only metric to measure a school’s success and that “Failure” exists and is solely the responsibility of the schools themselves.

Henry Roman, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association & Bob Lambeth, Littleton write to Denver Post Opinions.

Re: “DPS decision to close schools was tough but necessary,” Dec. 19 editorial.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) strongly disagrees with the closure of Amesse, Greenlee and Gilpin Montessori elementary schools. We’re not convinced the decision-making process allowed for concerns of the community to be properly heard and considered.

The closures are predicated on the notion that schools are “failing.” Yet when Gilpin Montessori introduced data demonstrating its final School Quality Review (SQR) score (which determines whether doors stay open or closed) was incorrect, the district refused to acknowledge it. Also, the board meeting failed to accommodate the numbers of parents and teachers attending to argue against closures.

The DCTA is committed to teacher and school development. But that requires support with accountability. District leaders are not accountable when they are unresponsive to needs of schools, do not commit to Montessori-specific programming communities seek, close schools showing improvement and pre-determine decisions without community input.

This was hardly a decision that strengthened the community voice.

Henry Roman, Littleton

The writer is president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.

As a former teacher, it amazes me how even now, administrators feel that school closure is good, sound policy. Education is like a three-legged stool: teacher, student, parent. All must work in concert to help the child learn and move forward. Children do not go to school to learn how to take tests. They should be learning about and experiencing the love of learning.

Is this measurable? I don’t know, but it is the best way to educate a child. Downtown, as we used to call the school district, is so far removed from the local school, they are enabled to exist in their own world, where children are reduced to test takers, and goofy fixes are sent to local administrators for implementation.

The decisions to be made in a child’s education are the role of the teacher, the child, and the parent. Reform the roles of teachers, children and parents and you will see children emerging from our schools loving to learn.

Bob Lambeth, Littleton