Widening the great divide

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Newly seated Jeffco Public Schools superintendent Jason Glass certainly wasted no time in thrusting our students into the political mosh pit.
In an Aug. 28 letter to Jeffco legislators, Dr. Glass provides a suggested “response to the Charlottesville violence,” whereby Jeffco’s curriculum and instruction team would regale our elementary school classrooms with such trendy zeitgeists as “White Anti-Racist Biographies,” “Why Talk About Whiteness,” “Challenging and Transforming American Values,” and “Confederate Monuments and their Removal.”  The latter topic is particularly rich with irony, considering these are some of the same classrooms where teachers sent their students marching into the streets against alleged whitewashing of U.S. history.
Cited among Glass’ resources is the infamous Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC is a $328 million liberal leviathan described by the Virginia-based Media Research Center as “an anti-conservative, anti-Christian hate group,” and is notorious for lumping legitimate conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council into the same category as neo-Nazis and the KKK. SPLC is the defendant in at least one defamation lawsuit and has recently shunted millions of dollars in tax-free donations to offshore havens in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.
Predictably, Glass also lists the National Education Association — the nation’s largest labor union — as a “resource.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 97 percent of all NEA political contributions go to Democrats. The NEA also provided the majority of funding for Jeffco United, the shady political committee behind the Jeffco recall that ultimately resulted in the hiring of Dr. Glass. In their study material, the NEA decries “post-election acts of racism and hate,” insinuating that racism, hatred and violence are unique to the Trump administration.
I wonder, did Glass issue a similar call for K-12 activism when five Dallas police officers were murdered at a Black Lives Matter rally by a gunman who “wanted to kill white people?” Did he publicly condemn the DHS-designated terrorist group Antifa for their brutishness during the riots in Phoenix and Berkeley? What about the attempted mass-shooting of Republican congressmen at a Virginia baseball field this summer?
The reason I ask is because Antifa, Black Lives Matter and Alt-left violence are mentioned nowhere in Dr. Glass’ syllabus; his fixation is clearly on Charlottesville, “whites,” “whiteness,” the “Alt-right” and, of course, the ubiquitous “Nazis.”
The best indicators we have for the cumulative effectiveness of Jeffco Schools’ $1 billion budget are the American College Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. These assessments cover just five sections: reading, writing, math, English, and science — there are no extra points for political activism, social justice or virtue signaling.
Since only one-third of Jeffco students currently meets ACT and SAT college and career benchmarks, one would hope the superintendent would focus on fixing this rather than tasking his administration with creating a curriculum based on a single, divisive political issue. Allow us, the parents, to guide our children in these matters without the distractions of such demonstrably biased sources as the SPLC, NEA, and evidently, Superintendent Glass.

John J. Newkirk came to Jefferson County in 1967. A graduate of the Jeffco public schools, he is an engineer by training as well as a cattle rancher, beekeeper, published author and lapsed classical flutist. Newkirk has served on the Colorado Commission on Judicial Performance (1st Judicial District), the Jeffco school board and the Colorado Association of Funders. He lives near Conifer with his wife and three daughters.