Our Readers Write

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What is the school board hiding?
With the beginning of the fall semester, why does the Jeffco school board now find it necessary to employ a sheriff’s deputy to keep the public out of earshot of its mumblings at its open-to-the-public study sessions?
What is it trying to hide?
Russell W. Haas

Citizens have right to hear deliberations
Education is the biggest state budget item, and Jefferson County is the largest school district in Colorado. Jeffco spends nearly $1 billion on education each year.
The state and public put a lot of trust into the hands of the Jeffco school board, expecting the members to act responsibly. Isn’t there a law that says the school board meetings are supposed to be public, with business conducted in an open and transparent manner? If people in the audience can’t hear, are those legal meetings?
Lately at the Jefferson County school board meetings, citizens have been harassed when they make an effort to hear or understand the proceedings. Too often the board members talk very quietly, and on the rare occasions when microphones are available, they don’t talk into the microphones. Parts of meetings that they are supposed to record have sometimes failed to be recorded at what appear to be “convenient” times.
Does someone from the state legislature, or a state attorney, need to explain to the board members that they are required to conduct open and transparent meetings that can be heard? What is being hidden?
Dave Rasmussen

Pay-for-performance plan worrisome
I am a teacher, but I’m not a “classroom” teacher. I have had hopes that Senate Bill 191 will make my evaluation more meaningful — when done by someone who is an expert in my content area. However, I’m concerned about having my performance pay be tied to CSAP scores (my content is not a tested subject) or determined by a principal who is not a specialist for my content.
We “unreal” teachers are often forgotten. How will performance pay be determined by someone who teaches art, physical education and music? How about the shop, technology and drama teachers?
Your recent article failed to mention what schools participate in the pilot program. My understanding is that they are only high-impact or Title I schools, where the “elective” teachers often travel between schools and get lost in the shuffle. Although I agree with Kerrie Dallman (results from the pilot will be helpful), the money was never allocated to give a broad view of how it will affect our entire district. I know this pay system is coming down the pike, but I hope the Jeffco Board of Education is thorough and thoughtful.
Colleen Turner