National columnist exposes “red herrings” behind JeffCo board recall

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The heated debate over the future of JeffCo Public Schools has returned to the national spotlight.

In a Monday column, National Review Online’s John Fund chronicles board opponents’ long train of attempts to generate controversy and to distract from the reform majority’s achievements of “fully funding charter schools, linking teacher pay to performance and empowering principals to make more decisions at the school level.”

Fund highlights not only the teachers union’s opposition to the board’s performance pay plan that rewarded all but a tiny minority of ineffective educators, but also several “red herrings” — most notably the proposed AP U.S. History curriculum review that recently was vindicated by the College Board’s own revisions — which included bringing back the contributions of the nation’s key Founders.

He also cites the concerns of parents who have faced intimidation for supporting the board and challenging the attacks against them:

Linda Pelon, a parent with three boys in Jefferson County schools, says that board meetings are open for public comment but that pro-board parents who attend are frequently bullied: “It’s so bad I felt nervous walking to my car after speaking out in favor of the board.”

Fund additionally covered the Denver Post‘s criticism of the “nakedly political” recall and the successful compromise teachers union contract.