Last fall was an explosive time in the Jeffco School District, initially spurred by the teachers union’s anger over pay for performance standards the district implemented, which then morphed into faux outrage over an idea to review Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum after community complaints. In fact, it was found that the walkouts were planned far in advance of this proposal and were meant to address the pay issue.
Despite the cries of censorship, as it turns out, the AP U.S. History curriculum has been changed to ensure there is no political bias in the teaching. Does that make the Jeffco School Board’s idea (it was never implemented or even voted on) actually worthy of the discussion that the board had?
Here is what an AP U.S. History teacher who helped redesign the curriculum, Geri Hastings, told Newsweek about the changes:
“Some of the changes sound less pompous. Less morally judgmental. I think if [language] was tamped down, it was less about the criticism, but [rather] to make it less value-based. Just to put it out there, and teachers could then massage it as they taught it. I think before it was a little more value-laden. Now it’s like, here are the facts, teach it how you want to teach it.… I think it’s just more balanced, more mainstream, yet it doesn’t push things under the rug. There have been problems in our country. We enslaved people, and it was horrible. Again, you can’t just focus on that to the exclusion of other things.”
If the board was proven right in having a conversation about AP U.S. History, does that undermine the teacher’s union campaign to recall them? We’ve already established that the union’s critique about the superintendent’s pay is totally false, the teacher turnover is false, and the lack of transparency is false. There is literally no rational underpinning for this campaign.
Why exactly is this board majority facing a recall, again?