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[Susan notes: Here's how a concerned parent can criticize the schools but remain strong in her support of teachers.]

Published in Greeley Tribune
10/11/2006

To the editor

Pat Kennedy wrote an excellent column (Learning Curve, Oct. 2) about the top-down decision-making of Greeley-Evans School District 6 administrators, which resulted in the questionable one-size-fits-all program in all our elementary schools.



I hear that many teachers have valid reservations about the changes, which no longer leave them time to take a personal interest in their students. Nor does the common schedule allow for creative, need-based teaching that's more mentally stimulating. Teachers also have concerns about the scripted literacy program.



From what I know of it, it is far worse than I could have imagined. I feel it borders on abuse and I sympathize with all the teachers who have to teach it. Until recently an example was posted on the District 6 Web site, but it has since been taken off.



I have reason to believe that teachers are afraid of publicly sharing their concerns, so if they cannot speak out on behalf of their students, parents should. The question is how?



Our board of education suggests that parents speak with principals. However, a highly qualified teacher who left her half-time GT job in our district, due to the elimination of her other half-time job of building technology specialist, shared the following: "When parents speak out, the principals at those buildings are pulled in and told to get a handle on these parents." Another teacher shared, "It seems that honest and genuinely felt concerns and queries (by teachers) are being rebuffed."



Could this explain why parents and teachers feel that no matter what concerns they bring forward, it falls on deaf ears?



Conny Jensen


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