Friday, December 11, 2015

AV#140 - A matter of trust

Dec. 2, 2015

A matter of trust: if the truth hurts, exaggerations hurt more

Three related issues: Trust, funding for K-12, and test scores

Tests and money.  Low scores for Colorado students on the 2015 PARCC tests will lead some to connect a lack of funding to poor results; you cut $1 billion a year to education and expect us to do well?[1]  Others will argue that if K-12 schools want more funds, first they need to show better results. The chicken or egg question.  Both “sides” of the debate raise the issue of trust. Do we trust the value of the tests, the validity of the scores, the motives of companies profiting from these assessments?  Do we trust the schools to use taxpayer money wisely? Do we trust the state, the district, the local school board to act in the best interest of our kids?   A variety of perspectives, but for all—trust is a key theme.

Unknowingly, trust has been a recurring theme in my recent newsletters.  In AV#136 I spoke of “my on-going concern about the ‘honesty gap’ in education.”  Some will say I add to the mistrust by raising doubts about statements from district leaders in Aurora, Adams 14, Pueblo, and Sheridan; from the Colorado Education Initiative; and from those cheering the (misleading) news about better high school graduation rates.  Not my goal, but trust is again on my mind.  Addressed directly in my closing remarks.

**

This white-haired senior citizen hopes he is still of relatively sound mind. How childish it would be if he behaved like a schoolboy back in the K-5 playground, taunting his buddies, “TOLD YOU SO!”

As we come to grips with the PARCC results, I offer a look back at recent goals and results.  Meant—not, I promise, as “I told you so”—but as a cautionary note.  About being realistic.  About the need to swallow hard and speak honestly about how well our students perform.   About the loss of trust when we present false narratives about the miracles we will perform in a few years if we only…
Get $175 million.    
                                        
NAEP results – foreshadowing the PARCC scores

Colorado has participated in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 25 years. For those who think highly of the NAEP tests, Colorado’s scores have sent a more troubling message than CSAP delivered, once the state assessment was first given in 1997. (See details on Colorado’s NAEP scores vs. CSAP for 2003 and 2007, Addendum A.)  “Proficiency” on the national test was always tougher to achieve.  (See report by Achieve, Addendum B.)  For example, between 2003 and 2009 roughly two-thirds of Colorado students taking our state reading test scored proficient; during those same years, on NAEP (based on just a fraction of Colorado students[2]), less than 40% of our 4th and 8th graders taking the test were proficient.  In math, while CSAP results told us over 50% of our students were proficient, a much lower percentage—especially for 8th graders—achieved that level on NAEP.


Last month we received Colorado’s NAEP scores for 2015—as well as the state results on PARCC.  On NAEP, less than 40% of our 8th graders achieved proficiency in reading and math.  Though disappointing to see the drop in both subjects since the previous test in 2013, overall—the scores were fairly consistent with those since 2007. 

NAEP scores - % at or above proficient

Colorado NAEP scores
U.S. Average

2007
2009
2011
2013
2015
2015
4th grade Reading
36
40
39
41
39
35
8th grade Reading
35
32
40
40
38
33
4th grade Math
41
45
47
50
43
39
8th grade Math
37
40
43
42
37
32

4 observations for COLORADO:
·         “...all children above average...”?  Hardly.  We saw 50% achieve proficiency on one test only, in one grade, one year—4th grade math in 2013.  Overall, only 2 out of 5 students were proficient in 2015.
·         2-3% point increase between 2007 and 2015 in reading and 2% point increase in 4th grade math.
·         2-5% point decline between 2011 and 2015 in 8th grade reading, and for grade 4 and 8 in math.
·         THE MEDIA: Compare and contrast The Denver Post’s coverage of NAEP, 2011 vs. 2015 (Addendum C)

We must now adjust to PARCC scores that—like NAEP—are lower, as they reflect higher expectations.  This is one of the benefits, unpleasant as the scores may be, of asking Colorado students to take an assessment that will help us see how we are doing compared to at least five other PARCC states.  (Last month, our first look: Colorado, New Jersey, and Mexico - http://co.chalkbeat.org/2015/11/12/colorado-students-vs-new-jersey-students-and-6-other-charts-breaking-down-new-parcc-results/#.Vk4Ze_mrTIV.)  It was easier to dismiss the validity of the NAEP test when fewer than 100 schools and only 4,500 Colorado students participated; last spring, most Colorado public schools, and roughly 450,000 Colorado students, took the PARCC English and math assessments.  Now we can say comparisons are more meaningful.

Lake Wobegon, where “… all the children are above average”

“Colorado scores on ‘nation’s report card’ decline but stay above national scores,”
Chalkbeat Colorado (10/27/15)

PHEW!!!  Colorado can still claim we are ABOVE AVERAGE nationally!  However, NAEP continues to say most Colorado students tested are not proficient, and now PARCC—more aligned to our state standards – makes the same point.  Thanks to Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion, we’ve chuckled about the “Lake Wobegon-effect” for decades.  But the joke is on us. The truth hurts. 

We try to digest the difficult news, look ahead, and—I hope—set meaningful goals. In light of the grim news, please, no spin.  No boasting.  No tall tales.  It seems a habit.  We see it in goals set five years ago. 

I ask you to take a look back.  In 2010, when Colorado submitted its Race to the Top proposal to the federal government, among our goals, we asserted that—on the NAEP test by 201560% of 4th graders would be proficient in reading, and 60% of 8th graders proficient in math. (Bold mine.)
When I read that, I asked a CDE leader—in my most ungracious way—what were they smoking when they wrote that?

No I didn’t. But perhaps that’s what I implied.

The CDE official snapped at me as if I had accused her of lying.  Not my point.  But the impossibility of attaining that goal was so apparent that I could not help but think of the oft-heard scream from potty-mouthed tennis star John McEnroe to the umpire up in the chair: “Can you be serious?!”

The just-released 2015 NAEP results for Colorado reveal the folly of those “ambitious” goals.

National Assessment of Educational Progress
% Proficient and Advanced

Score –
2009
GOAL for 2015–
in Colorado’s RTTT application (2010)
Result – 2015*
GAP – Goal vs. Result
4th grade Reading
40
60
39
-21
8th grade Reading
32
52
38
-14
4th grade Math
45
65
43
-22
8th grade Math
40
60
37
-23

When writing that application to the U.S. Department of Education, CDE could look at our scores in 2003, 2005, and (as shown) for 2007 and 2009, yet still we presented these remarkably “aspirational” goals.

The RTTT application also presented CDE’s goals for 2014 in reading and math on our state assessment.  In the summer of 2010 I titled my newsletter: “Colorado’s RTTT Goal: 85% proficient and advanced by 2014 – How credible is that?”(AV#63).  Here are those goals, and the results:

Colorado State Assessment Program (CSAP)/ Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP)
% Proficient and Advanced*

Score
(CSAP) 2009
GOAL for 2014–
in Colorado’s RTTT application (2010)
Result  (TCAP) 2014
GAP – Goal vs. Result
Reading
68.3
85
68.9
-16.1





Math
54.5
85
56.4
-28.6







Raising doubts about our leaders’ credibility 
Just following one of my role models: Peggy Noonan
MD: You were tough on George W. Bush when he vowed in his second Inaugural to rid the world of tyranny—and you called Obama’s 2014 State of the Union delusional. What does re-election do to our leaders?
PN: All but the most stubbornly sturdy of them can be affected by the daily world they live in, which is too heightened, too full of over-the-top adoration and denunciation.  You have to be a pretty tough customer not to let all that affect your thinking.                   From interview in Time Magazine with Michael Duffy (11/16/15)
Wait a minute, you say: such goals were based in part on the $175 million we might receive from the federal government if our state was named a winner of the Race to the Top funds. Furthermore, after losing that competition, we had a recession, budget cuts, “the negative factor” … much less for professional development for teachers, fewer supports for kids, bigger classes, etc. etc.

True.

Still.  Were the goals ever realistic—even if $1 billion had suddenly been showered our way?


Why look back?  “The Janus Effect”

From The Leadership Challenge,
by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner
From ch. 5 - “Reflect on your past”
http://davy.potdevin.free.fr/Site/pics/gods/janus-big.gif
“… to be able to envision the possibilities in the distant future, to enhance your ability to be forward-looking, look first into the past.”

Why look back this way, dredging up a five-year old “vision for Colorado”?  One that brought not a penny, one so far removed from today’s top issues?   Does it really matter if what the state, or a superintendent, or a nonprofit leader, said then, looks foolish, or false, now?

“ … let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”
(Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower”)

“Acknowledge the need to substantially improve. Just bragging about the districts you outperform has two insidious effects: Trust erodes with parents and employers who aren't fooled….” Tom Coyne, “10 steps to improve student learning,” Denver Post, 11/22/15.
Why?  Because trust always matters.  Because we get off easy by saying—“Oh, we didn’t really mean it.”  Because leaders in the education community hurt our cause the more we mislead, overstate—or worse.  We show little respect for teachers, parents, and voters who recognize—let’s be blunt—our phony claims.

What do I suggest for education policy?  Especially if our cause includes making the case for more funds—as I believe it must?   

To earn trust, let’s be truthful.  Two years ago, Colorado Amendment 66, the Tax Increase for Education Initiative, lost handily, 899,927 to 496,151.  Many arguing for the tax increase claimed it would boost transparency.  Sen. Mike Johnston, a sponsor of the legislation calling for the ballot initiative, stated: "We’ll have for the first time the metrics where a taxpayer, a voter, a legislator will be able to see clearly what return they got and be able to change the investment if they want to.” (https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Tax_Increase_for_Education,_Amendment_66_(2013)#Supporters).

Almost 900,000 Colorado voters might have responded: Well, that would be nice, but we don’t believe it.  Why? In part because we have learned not to believe much that we hear from education leaders.

This Independent voter is fully aware of our state’s partisan divide around more taxes for K-12 education.  Many fear we are paralyzed.  Public policy–for education or any vital issue in our state—is so complex, only a sanctimonious fool would suggest we follow an old proverb.  So I will: “Honesty is the best policy.”

Another View is a newsletter by Peter Huidekoper. Comments are welcome. 303-757-1225 / peterhdkpr@gmail.com



Addendum A – NAEP vs. CSAP – % proficient or advanced

2003 – Colorado students


CSAP
NAEP
GAP between CSAP & NAEP score
4th grade Reading
63
37
26
8th grade Reading
66
36
30
4th grade Math
No Test given – under development
34

8th grade Math
38
34
4

2007 – Colorado students


CSAP
NAEP
GAP between CSAP & NAEP score
4th grade Reading
64
36
28
8th grade Reading
63
35
28
4th grade Math
71
41
30
8th grade Math
46
37
9

Addendum B – NAEP vs CSAP - Achieve report

“Proficient vs. Prepared: Disparities Between State Tests and the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress,” (May 2015)
“Frequently, states’ testing and reporting processes yield significantly different results than the data collected and reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). While NAEP, the Nation’s Report Card, scores are the gold standard for measuring student achievement and serve as a yardstick for state comparisons, NAEP results are generally not known by students and their families, who rely on their state test results to know how they are performing. … Far too often, state test results mislead the public about whether students are proficient. Parents, students, and teachers deserve transparency and accuracy in public reporting. (May 2015)  (Bold mine)


Addendum C – A sign of the times, then and now – The Denver Post’s look at NAEP results

2011: Top story in Denver and the West section, Nov. 2, 2011 - headline across the entire page:
Eighth-grade scores pick up
Kevin Simpson’s article emphasized the “significant improvement” for 8th graders.  He asked for and included comments on the meaning of the NAEP results for Colorado from U.S. Rep Jared Polis and Senator Michael Bennet, as well as from Paul Teske, Dean, and Robert Reichardt, education policy researcher, of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver.

2015: The Denver Post prints a Washington Post story on the results for the country https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-student-performance-slips-on-national-test/2015/10/27/03c80170-7cb9-11e5-b575-d8dcfedb4ea1_story.html, and reprinted the opening paragraphs of the Colorado Chalkbeat story on the results for Colorado, a careful analysis written by Melanie Asmar  (http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29037183/colorado-scores-nations-report-card-decline-but-stay?source=infinite-up).



[1]  “ … the state's funding cuts to education of nearly $1 billion per year since 2010 ….” (Denver Post,Colorado's education formula that cuts funding ruled constitutional,” 9/21/15)
[2] CDE: “ In Colorado, 2,200 fourth-grade students in 98 public schools and 2,300 eighth-grade students in 94 public schools participated in the math and reading tests.” http://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/20151028naep

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AV#139- ANOTHER VIEW of our new school boards: Redefining local control

Nov. 17, 2015


Michael Kiley: “Isn’t this what the district is supposed to be good at, running a neighborhood school?  If the district is saying it cannot run a neighborhood school, then I wonder about our management of the district at this point.” http://co.chalkbeat.org/2015/10/29/in-denver-school-board-race-a-telling-divide-over-what-defines-a-neighborhood-school/#.Vj4hD_mrTIU

Julie Williams: "All I am asking for is for a committee to tell us what is in (the AP History curriculum), and then it's up to the board to decide what is appropriate for our kids." http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/09/25/conservative-board-member-speaks-out-after-protests/16245999/

Both school board candidates lost on Nov. 3. They were supported by two opposing groups (Kiley, by the teachers union; Williams, by Americans for Prosperity-Colorado).  Perhaps we miss the point when talking about whether “reformers” won or lost, whether the left or the right can claim victory.

Another View is that the vote two weeks ago might be about a new role for school boards in our state. That role is not to have a central office run schools  (Kiley), nor is to have a five-person board “decide what is appropriate” for a dozen high schools across a huge district (Williams).

That new role is smaller. More humble.  Ironic, I know, in light of the national—even international[1]—attention given to our local races.  Ironic in light of the cash raised–and wow, that was a lot of money!--for these candidates.[2]  It seems as if we are talking about Really Important Positions of Enormous Influence.  That is what I hear in the comment on the new school board in Denver Public Schools by Henry Roman, president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association:  
… he hopes that the new board “continues to engage in collaboration” with teachers, parents and the community. But he noted that more power also means more responsibility. http://co.chalkbeat.org/2015/11/05/in-denver-a-clean-sweep-for-backers-of-district-reforms-and-questions-about-a-united-front/#.Vj0G1fmrTIV
More power?  Meaning what? School boards assuming even more “control” over individual schools?   Isn’t that what Kiley and Williams suggest was their view as well? We run schools. The board decides

“Yep, son, we have met the enemy he is us.” Pogo

Consider, if you will, a trend moving in the opposite direction.  Evident in three of our lowest-performing school districts—DPS, Aurora, and Pueblo—seeking to improve. Where the boards are willing to admit that “district control” and the central office have been and are, in fact, part of the problem.  Boards making use of the 2008 Innovation Schools Act allowing “more autonomy to make decisions at the school-level” (Colorado Department of Education).  “The Act provides a formal process that allows schools to petition their local school boards for waivers from district-level policies …” (CDE), and more.  In short, boards acknowledging to schools: It looks as if we have stood in your way.  OK, guilty as charged. We begin to see that it was presumptuous of us, some might even confess, foolish, to think we could “run” over a hundred schools, in our two largest districts, from the central office in Denver or Jeffco.   That’s not what we know how to do, and—let’s make it clear: that’s really not our business.

Three examples, then, of boards that have taken steps (major strides, in the case of DPS) towards a system with less regulation from the top, with greater freedom and authority at the school level.

Greater autonomy — if schools want it
  In a major shift, DPS offered principals the chance to opt their schools out of centrally approved curriculum, teacher training and assessments this school year and go their own way. About one-fifth of principals seized the opportunity.
  A more decentralized district is a significant turning point for a district with a historically strong central administration.

1.       Denver Public Schools: With 54 charter schools, 36 innovation schools (http://portfolio.dpsk12.org/ ) and, beginning this fall, additional site-control and decision-making available for many principals (see box), the school board has made it clear that, no, we do not want to “run schools.” The more each school has the authority and flexibility to make key decisions, the better. (More detail on DPS plans in Addendum A.  One new member elected to board Nov. 3.)

2.  Aurora Public Schools, in Year 4 on “Priority Improvement” with the Colorado Department of Education, recently proposed developing “up to three ACTION Zones” in which the schools will apply for Colorado Innovation School Status.  “Superintendent Rico Munn wants to free several of the city’s academically struggling schools from district and state red tape as well as the district’s collective bargaining agreement with its teachers union in an effort to improve student achievement.” (http://co.chalkbeat.org/2015/03/18/aurora-chief-pitches-broad-reform-plan-to-save-central-high-from-state-sanctions/#.VjjoLfmrTIU).  (More detail on APS and innovation, Addendum B. One new board member elected on Nov. 3.)

"Innovation Zone" coming to Pueblo City Schools (KOAA – by Lena Howland)
  As part of their plan to turn around the district, the Superintendent is hoping to turn 6-10 of their schools into an "Innovation Zone," just like they did with Pueblo Academy of Arts.
  "What we're hoping that our students will see and our families will recognize, the opportunities that are going to be a higher quality educational opportunities that might be specific to needs of individual students," Sheryl Clarke, Assistant Superintendent at Pueblo City Schools said.

3.  Pueblo City Schools is in Year 5 on “Priority Improvement” with CDE. In 2013 the district enabled three of its lowest-performing schools “to become schools of innovation…  (giving) each school community greater autonomy and flexibility in implementing innovative programs in their buildings to better meet the needs of their students.”   Last spring the school board, apparently seeing enough success at these three schools, committed to an Innovation Zone for several more schools (see box).
(More detail on Pueblo 60 and innovation, Addendum C. Three new board members elected on Nov. 3.)

School districts to schools: mea culpa

Yes, our fault. We have been the helicopter parent overseeing our children.  Mum and Dad unwilling to let go.  We forgot you were adults able to manage on your own. We now recognize—if grudgingly—the number of good charter schools in Colorado benefiting from the freedom to commit to a mission, arrange a longer school day, find a distinct curriculum, and hire individuals without the district bureaucracy involved—in ways that best suit their mission and the needs of their students.  (See Beyond Averages: School Quality in Denver Public Schools (2014), the most well-documented report showing significantly different outcomes—especially for low-income students—in schools “operated by the district” versus new charters.)
I hear you saying: I think you’re dreaming … building a case based on a few examples.  Only DPS shows this is a deliberate strategy, not just an attempt to fend off state intervention.  Surely you know that most of the “big” 15 districts (over 17,000 students) are not ready to surrender control.  They have been doing business the old way for so long…. It is na├»ve to suggest K-12 public education is making such a transformation.  
Of course you would be right.  But let’s see what works, and where this goes. Yes, my interpretation may be wishful thinking …. And yet, for all the fury over the power of our school boards of late, a few are taking steps to let go—ensuring that real control belongs where teachers teach and students learn: in the schools.

    
Addendum A – Denver Public Schools

Denver school board sets course toward more decentralized district,” by Jaclyn Zubrzycki
“Starting next school year, all principals in Denver will have the option to select and buy their own curriculum, school-based testing programs, professional development plans, and potentially to choose more of the programs and employees in their buildings.[3]
“Those are some early steps in a plan to decentralize decision-making and significantly change how Denver Public Schools works with its schools. ….
“The idea is to create more independent schools and turn principals into ‘chief strategists’ — a move that will have ripple effects both for teachers and students and for the central office staff who have traditionally worked with schools.
“This is the first time all district schools, not just charters and those that specifically request it, would have this degree of control over their programs.
“DPS board members and staff said they will begin to flesh out the details of the changes and what more flexibility for budgets, hiring, transportation, scheduling, accountability, and more might look like in coming weeks.
“Board members say the changes are an attempt to execute the vision they laid out last year in the updated Denver Plan, a set of goals for improving student achievement and school quality by 2020. “The Denver Plan describes more flexibility for schools as one of the district’s key strategies.
“‘How do we make sure we’re walking the walk and not saying you have flexibility with one hand and taking it away with the other?’ said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg.
Board members Barbara O’Brien and Anne Rowe described visits to schools where they said school staff currently felt stymied by supposed supports from district offices. ‘Part of the culture shift has to be more respect for the autonomy of the school and their ability to control their days,’ O’Brien said….”

National trend, local changes
“The idea of decentralizing power and changing the roles of bureaucracies has gained traction in many urban school systems in recent years, partly in tandem with the growing school choice movement and particularly charter schools, which have control over most aspects of their operations and programming.
"The strategy is often tied to an approach to governance known as ‘portfolio management.Rather than managing and directly running programs at schools, a district’s central office is responsible for approving, monitoring, evaluating, and providing services to a portfolio of more-independent schools and ‘investing’ in those that work. Budgeting is shifted so that schools can select and pay for certain services or staffing arrangement rather than having services paid for and distributed at the district level.
"The idea is not new in Denver. DPS already has dozens of charter schools and more than 30 innovation schools, which can request flexibility from certain district policies, such as the length of a school day.”
**

From Denver Public School website: “The Portfolio Management Team cultivates, authorizes, launches, and oversees high-quality autonomous schools (i.e., District-run, Innovation and, Charter) in the Denver Public School (DPS) system.  Empowered by the Denver Plan, the Portfolio Management Team embraces school autonomy, high performance standards, clear accountability, parent/guardian choice, and broad stakeholder engagement.” (http://portfolio.dpsk12.org/)

Addendum B – Aurora Public Schools

“Aurora’s school improvement plan earns blessing from state board…,” by Susan Gonzalez and Nic Garcia

“The State Board of Education has given Aurora Public Schools the green light to move ahead with freeing some of its struggling schools from bureaucratic red tape in order to improve student learning.” Chalkbeat Colorado, http://co.chalkbeat.org/2015/06/10/auroras-school-improvement-plan-earns-blessing-from-state-board-with-some-reservations/#.VkjLOvmrTIV

“Aurora chief pitches broad reform plan to save Central high from state sanctions,” by Nic Garcia

“The proposal to create three “innovation zones” comes as the district is beginning preliminary conversations with the Colorado Department of Education about the future of the struggling Aurora Central High School.
“Based mostly on test scores and graduation rates, Aurora Central has been rated by the state as a chronically underperforming school for five years. If there isn’t drastic improvement by the end of the school year, Aurora Central will likely face state sanctions.
Innovation zones are clusters of school that are given innovation status under a 2008 state law. Similar to charter schools, those schools are granted waivers from school district and state policies and regulations and usually any collective bargaining agreement the district has with its teacher and classified unions. Waivers usually lead to different school programs, calendars, and one-year contracts with teachers.
“School leaders at innovation schools also usually have greater flexibility with their budget and professional development for staff.”
Addendum C – Pueblo City Schools

“Innovation born of student need,” by Gayle Perez (11/24/15)
“With a vision of education reform through ingenious ideas and freedom from traditional policies, the Colorado State Legislature agreed seven years ago to institute the concept of innovation schools.
Passed in 2008, the Innovation School Act allowed for flexibility for schools and districts as a way to better meet the needs of students.
“The law was born out of a request from school leaders who wanted the same flexibility that charter schools have with finances, particularly in using them to implement programs and ideas that best meet the needs of their students.
“The law allows for directors of the innovation schools to seek waivers from certain policies and rules if they prohibit the schools from implementing innovative ideas and different approaches to education….”

“District ponders innovation zone,” by Gayle Perez (11/26/15)
“Based on the positive cultural changes already experienced at the Roncalli STEM Academy, Risley International School of Innovation and Pueblo Academy of Arts (formerly Pitts), district leaders are moving forward with a plan to make three additional schools of innovation at Irving, Minnequa and Ben Franklin elementary schools. “There’s a real need for improvement, we can’t just continue on the same path when you’re not seeing evidence of improvement. That’s when you look at other avenues,” said Gina Gallegos, director of continuous improvement and innovation. ‘Just the term innovation, what does that mean? It means thinking differently and that’s what we’re doing, we’re thinking differently,’ she said. ‘It can’t continue that our kids aren’t achieving at the levels that they need to.’” Pueblo Chieftain, http://www.chieftain.com/news/education/4037050-120/innovation-schools-zone-improvement#sthash.G1TPtXWr.dpuf

Another View, a newsletter by Peter Huidekoper, represents his own opinion and is not intended to represent the
view of any organization he is associated with.  Comments are welcome. 303-757-1225 / peterhdkpr@gmail.com




[1]October email from my niece in Thailand: “What’s going on here Pete?” – with link to a NY Times article on Jeffco.
[2] The Washington Post, Nov 1, 2015: “In Denver suburb, a school board race morphs into $1 million ‘proxy war’”
[3] Throughout this newsletter, to highlight terms related to autonomy and flexibility, all bold mine.