Leyba: Beware of Sheep's Clothing this time of year

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As many of you are aware, three of DCSD's seven school board seats are up for election on November 5th. Like previous school board elections, all the candidates are making promises and portraying themselves as defenders of public education, committed to our students, friends of the teachers and staff, unwavering supporters of our community.


But this year, unlike a number of previous school board elections, determining who is truly committed to the success of our schools and who is only saying things to win votes is less clear.


This year’s elections has a number of candidates who are wearing a significant amount of "sheep’s clothing."  These costumed candidates say they support public education, say they want what is best for students, and say they are friends of teachers and staff.  They know if they publicly shared their real agenda for the schools, they would be soundly defeated this November. So, they put on their costumes and say things designed to confuse and deflect.  A good rule of thumb is when a candidate says they are “not like the old reform board” and yet receive support from the reform board supporters—they are like the old reform board.


Another good indicator is their past actions before they announced they were running for school board.  Individuals who make light of school safety by posting tweets with teachers wearing targets on their backs or who create fake videos about organizations they don’t like are not the right people to run an inclusive public school system.  In addition, anyone who believes running a public school district is akin to a combat operation does not have the right stuff. To anyone who understands the role of education, the disconnect would be obvious.


We can’t go back to the days of dysfunction and endless conflict on the school board.  We must vote for the candidates who have a long record of accomplishment supporting public education and those who work in it.


The DCF has a decade’s long history of supporting school board candidates who believe that the success of our schools is determined by quality partnerships and collaboration.  They know they must work with people, not on them is the only way to high academic performance.


The DCF has endorsed Elizabeth Hanson and Susan Meek for Douglas County School Board.  They are running on a three-person slate along with current board president David Ray.  This slate is the best hope for our students, our schools, and our profession.


Make sure to vote.