Tag Archives: recall

Unpacking AFT's Early LM-2 Christmas Present

‘Tis the season my friends. No, no, not for head-spinning shifts in store decorations (is anyone else freaked out by the jumbled Hallowthanksgivemas décor in some places?) or falling leaves or the first justifiable excuse to wear a frumpy sweater to work. ‘Tis the season for U.S. Department of Labor LM-2 filings for national unions. I know what you’re thinking. Why, Eddie, would I want to dig through an enormous federal form outlining the inner workings of a union? Well, because you never know what you might find in there! About this time last year, the Independence Institute uncovered the fact that despite Jeffco recall proponent’s vehement denials of union involvement (since completely abandoned in favor of overt bragging), the National Education Association dumped $150,000 into recall front group Jeffco United. Where’d that revelation come from? You guessed it, NEA’s 2015 LM-2. You see, LM-2s are like early Christmas presents—you never know what you might find. I’m not the only one who relishes ripping off the wrapping paper every year. The folks over at Union Watch also spend a lot of time unpacking the forms when they’re filed. I can only imagine their glee when they dug into the American […]

Read More...

Little Eddie Talks Big (Union) Money

Yesterday’s post dealt with the union’s new-found pride in having bamboozled Jeffco voters into supporting a “parent-led” recall effort that wasn’t. I mentioned in the post that I’d hold my tongue about John Ford’s hypocritical accusations of “organized money” and “outside interests” until today. Today is here, so let’s get started. First, a reminder of John Ford’s conference session description: Powerful, Prepared, Proactive: Building a Comprehensive Plan to Win – PART 1 In the 2015 election, the Jefferson County Education Association in Colorado beat back the Koch brothers and other outside money and interests in their local school board election by building and working a comprehensive plan to win. In this session, participants will learn the strategies and processes involved in the successful two year plan. Participants will learn how organized people can beat organized money. (It is recommended that participants attend both Part 1 and Part 2). John Ford Obviously, this description is hardly the only example of the union touting the “outside interests” and “organized money” narratives. Unions and their supporters adopted the same messaging strategy in districts across Colorado, and bludgeoned voters over the heads with it mercilessly right up through the November elections. When Thompson received […]

Read More...

Friendly Neighborhood Union Brags About Involvement In "Parent-Led" Recall

Hello, edu-friends! I’ve been patiently awaiting word from SCOTUS on the fate of the Douglas County voucher case. I had expected to hear about the court’s decision to hear/not hear the case this week. As I mentioned a while back, I’m not exactly sure how the decision to hear the case will be affected by Justice Scalia’s untimely passing, so I’ve been a little nervous these last few days. Unfortunately, a little bird told me that we’ll be waiting until at least next week for closure. Bummer. But don’t fret. We’ll pass the time by engaging in one of my favorite activities: sharing the union’s latest escapades.

Read More...

Big Surprise: Jeffco's "Just Moms" Funded Primarily and Directly by NEA

We’re now nearing two months since the undeniably terri-bad local school board elections of 2015. I’m sure all of you remember The Night the Lights Went Dark, when very nearly every conservative school board member or candidate fell victim to the might of the education establishment and the teachers union. Now, as the dust begins to settle and the masks start to fall off, it is becoming increasingly clear that the National Education Association itself flexed its muscle to squash Colorado’s local reform efforts before they could fully take root. In Thompson School District, a massive progressive money-laundering outfit called America Votes dumped amounts of dough into making sure a conservative board majority that had the audacity to challenge its union contract would not be reelected. America Votes’ partners include both national teachers unions, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Planned Parenthood, and whole host of other leftist organizations. It’s the same group that underwrote the union-led recall effort against Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin to the tune of a million bucks.  It’s about as left as left gets, and it also happens to have received $355,000 in 2014-15 from the National Education Association. One wonders if that money might […]

Read More...

Denver Post Editorial Board Nails It on the Jeffco Recall… Again

I know I’ve said this before, but it makes me feel good when even the mainstream media sees through the antics of anti-reform efforts in Colorado. The Denver Post has been a model for sensible, truthful commentary in recent months. So much so, in fact, that I feel compelled to make a bulleted list of their recent columns on education issues to avoid a monster paragraph: An editorial about the Colorado Supreme Court’s dubious decision to kill Dougco’s local voucher program. An editorial slamming the abuse of recall elections by anti-reform activists and union supporters in Jeffco. A fantastic column about a serious union-driven legal threat to local control in Thompson A follow-up piece wondering aloud about the tortured legal logic underlying an unprecedented decision by a district court judge to force the Thompson school board to swallow a union contract it has repeatedly voted against in one form or another. After all that, one would think they’d be all out of good stuff to say. One would be wrong. The Denver Post Editorial Board has really outdone itself with its latest column about why the Jeffco recall effort ought to be rejected.

Read More...

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Jeffco's Ken Witt Pokes Recall Advocates

Friday Fun Day has arrived yet again. I don’t have super-secret materials to share or an inspiring video to show you today. But I do have something pretty darn entertaining: A school board reformer in Jeffco calling the bluff of recall proponents in Jeffco by filing a complaint against… himself. Yes, that’s right. Tired of accusations that the board majority members have violated state sunshine laws, Jefferson County Board of Education President Ken Witt filed an ethics complaint against himself with the Colorado Ethics Commission. In his words: This recall election will cost the district between $100,000-$200,000. That’s money that won’t go to our classrooms and our students. They have spent well over $100,000 gathering tens of thousands of signatures. … But not one is brave enough to sign a complaint? Out of the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have spent, they couldn’t spend the 49 cents for the stamp to send a complaint? And they accuse us of wasting money.

Read More...

Respected Voices Highlight Importance of Reform Battles in Jeffco, Thompson

Yesterday, we took a look at a major school choice flub in the new PDK/Gallup national education poll. I was all set to offer some further comments on that poll this morning, but we’ll have to come back to that. Today we’ve got important stuff like the hugely important fights over local education reform in Jeffco and Thompson to talk about. I got a little worked up last week thinking about the criticality of the education reform battles in Jeffco and Thompson. Yet I was long ago categorized as a five-year-old ideologue, so it’s easy enough for reform opponents to write me off by pointing out that my father is Charles Koch, or that I was born in a petri dish in a secret underground lab know only to members of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Neither of which I can confirm or deny, of course. Now, though, more and more mainstream folks are beginning to talk about the significance of these two districts. Two pieces in particular stood out to me this morning during my daily romp through the news.

Read More...

Thompson, Jeffco, and the Battle for the Soul of Colorado Education

I’m not exactly a fortune teller, but every now and then I surprise myself with my prescience. Last May, I wrote a post just before Thompson’s second vote on an only slightly revised version of the first junky tentative agreement brought back from the negotiating table. The post was called “Thompson Gears up for the Final (?) Battle.” It turns out that question mark meant more than I knew back then. The teachers union is many things, but timid is not among them. Still, I was legitimately surprised to see the tenacity with which they have opposed the Thompson reform majority’s attempts to make very reasonable changes to the district’s union contract—particularly because their bigger, meaner, more powerful cousin in Jeffco seems perfectly capable of making compromises. Well, other than that whole strike threat thing. While JCEA was busy actually negotiating, TEA was dragging the district into expensive non-binding arbitration proceedings and arguing that the board doesn’t have a right to reject a tentative agreement with which it disagrees under the 2014-15 contract’s “good faith” provision. Poppycock, you say. Colorado school boards have constitutional authority to exercise local control over their districts, and no statute requires a school board to […]

Read More...

A(New)PUSH for Truth in American History

Yesterday, I highlighted a brave Jeffco mom who was willing to go on camera and thank the Jefferson County Board of Education majority for standing up for reform. I also ran through a distressingly lengthy list of inaccurate claims—maybe “fabrications” would be more appropriate—and downright disturbing revelations about the recall. Included on the list was a mention of the new Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum framework, which I’d like to spend some more time on today. Many of you remember the teacher sickouts and student walkouts last fall. Initially, we were told—amid many “ums” and “uhs”—that the protests were about the board’s move to a performance-based raise model. You already know how much (and why) I support pay-for-performance systems, but this one was exceptionally innocuous, providing raises to 99 percent of Jeffco teachers. Yes, 99 percent. When that argument fell apart under the weight of pesky reality, the protests morphed into misleading statements about the board’s attempt to “censor” or “whitewash” American history by proposing the creation of a curriculum review committee to potentially examine, among many other things, the controversial Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) curriculum framework. You likely recall (heh) that the original, somewhat inflammatory proposal was never […]

Read More...

Pueblo School Districts Could Do Even Better Than Just Sharing Services

My mom and dad have been drilling the importance of sharing into me for years. I’ve finally got it down now (okay, for the most part). But as far as I recall, sharing my Legos or Matchbox cars with other kids has never been encouraged as a way to save money. I guess it’s a little different when it comes to school districts and “sharing” services. A recent article in the Pueblo Chieftain offers an account of a new development in the region’s two largest school districts: Talk of consolidating Pueblo City Schools and Pueblo County School District 70 may be too early right now, but the concept of sharing services is not.

Read More...