It looked like a mob scene with nearly 200 angry and bitter union activists flooding a Jefferson County School Board meeting this morning. Controversial superintendent Cindy Stevenson asked to be let out of her contract early and the board obliged. From a Jeffco Students First press release:
“The meeting grew contentious when supporters of Dr. Stevenson began shouting at the board. Security requested that the meeting be adjourned for the safety of all. Union leaders had sent out a memo to their membership requesting them to show up to this morning’s meeting, wearing black shirts and prepared to shout “No” and “Recall.” Around 200 supporters showed up to answer the call.”
Unfortunately, the unions have tried to spin this as Stevenson being forced out and Stevenson, all too willing to oblige, told the media that she “can’t manage this district with this board.” What a pathetic way to end her tenure – with her pettiness showing. The truth is that Stevenson approached the board about the board buying out the rest of her contract because she had a job with Colorado Association of School Executives and the board agreed in the interest of a smooth transition. But, never let a transition go smoothly and without attempts to score political points, right Cindy?
After Jefferson County voters ushered in a pro-reform board in November, the union-backed Stevenson announced that she would retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year on June 30. There is some speculation that this manufactured political drama is a precursor to an attempt to recall the pro-reform Jeffco School Board.
Of course, we have to ask – how does a pro-teachers union school board help kids? The answer? It does them a disservice by putting irrational union demands ahead of kids’ education.