News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Monday October 24th 2016

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council transportation energy municipalization xcel housing urban planning april fools bicycles climate action election 2011 density boulder county affordable housing open space agriculture renewables CU local food election 2013 youth climate change jefferson parkway pedestrian development election 2015 preservation Rocky Flats BVSD immigration mountain bikes recreation transit GMOs boards and commissions farming decarbonization urban design fracking fires colorado politics wildlife architecture downtown smart regs new era colorado journalism plutonium homeless plan boulder transit village radioactive waste ghgs natural gas commuting parking height limits rental planning board april fools 2015 energy efficiency coal historic district diversity Neighborhoods historic preservation students walkability gardens land use North Boulder arts education solar election 2010 bus taxes University Hill water supply groundwater bike lane election 2012 zoning water quality population growth RTD library safety affairs of the heart electric utility april fools 2016 election growth organic mayor zero waste planning reserve politics longmont hogan-pancost county commissioners right-sizing hazardous waste golden transportation master plan flood obama electric vehicle Mapleton solar panels climate smart loan recycling sprawl PV comprehensive plan bears colorado legislature nutrition diagonal plaza wetlands epa conservation easement pesticide food congestion street design drought ballot boulder junction inequality road diet bus rapid transit renewable energy community automobile children community cycles daily camera ecocycle Newlands campaign finance ken wilson league of women voters PUC sam weaver david miller climate change deniers wind power john tayer boulder contamination bob bellemare bsec women kevin hotaling jane jacobs boulder creek modernism lisa morzel tim plass suzanne jones marijuana crime Orchard Grove EV green points technology BVCP arizona Whittier mlk civil rights west tsa public spaces flood mitigation

BVSD: You’ve Got Mail


With just a few days to gather signatures, the following letter was submitted at the March 8th Boulder Valley School Board meeting with 164 signatures from staff and teachers at 5 high schools and 2 middle schools:


We, the undersigned teachers in the Boulder Valley School District, believe that the current situation warrants an authentic national search for a new superintendent.  If a suitable candidate is not available, this might mean that an interim superintendent is appointed for the following year.  Many of us are taxpayers in the district and have children attending BVSD schools; therefore, our interests are as citizens and parents as well as employees.


Parents do not have time to oversee every aspect of their children’s education.  They count on the schools to provide what is needed and trust that the district will rely on data and principles when making decisions.  In order to foster this trust, the new superintendent must commit to being accountable in the following four areas:


  1. Financial accountability:  The new superintendent must pledge that the district will follow modern accounting practices.  To help manage the numerous financial responsibilities, the superintendent should bring back the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) to oversee district spending.  The COO would structure the financial reports to track expenditures versus the budget on a monthly basis; this is standard practice in the private sector.   When BVSD had a COO, the difference between what was budgeted and what was spent was managed closely and there were no pots of unmonitored funds.  The superintendent must also work with the administration and the school board to ensure that when budgets must be cut, maintaining direct funding to the classrooms is the priority.

  3. Staff respect and accountability: The new superintendent must work to end the adversarial relationship between central administration and school-based staff.  Well-managed companies in the private sector treat employees as valuable investments and partners in success.  This requires genuine communication between the district, the staff and the community to restore trust between these three groups, rather than meetings calling for input that then seems to be ignored.  In the aftermath of Senate Bill 191, it is critical to develop effective means of hiring and retaining quality teachers and to devise and implement a comprehensive teacher evaluation plan that does not rely solely on test scores.

  5. Program accountability: The new superintendent must work effectively to expand educational opportunities for all students, regardless of achievement levels.  Eliminating D’s and F’s does not improve learning; it only creates grade inflation. Every special program has the potential to draw money away from the regular classroom, leading to increased class size and the problems associated with overloading a classroom.  Programs to support student learning must be evaluated regularly for effectiveness.  The evaluation process must include teacher input since they are the ones most involved with the programs on a daily basis and ineffective programs must be terminated.

  7. District accountability: The superintendent must participate in benchmarking programs that compare the best-run districts in the state and the nation.  Data from benchmarking supports informed decision making processes.


These four elements are crucial to creating an effective learning environment, and must be considered when hiring a new superintendent.


Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.25 out of 5)

Reader Feedback

One Response to “BVSD: You’ve Got Mail”

  1. […] BVSD: You’ve Got Mail March 11, 2011By M. Douglas WrayThis article first appeared in The Blue Line: […]

What do you think? Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.