Petition To Reinstate Recess

Petition for a quality and meaningful education for our children

We, the signatories of this petition, agree with the statements and goals of the Coalition for Better Education, Inc, The Greeley Parent Advocacy Group, and Latinos Unidos:

We all want our children to have a rich, enjoyable, and meaningful education, and realize that assessments are a part of such an education. However, we distinguish between the instructional assessments at the classroom level, such as the NWEA (found to be extremely helpful by many educators), and state and national assessments which monitor and compare our children and as such are not learning tools.

We would not oppose CSAP if it were used only occasionally during a child's educational career, especially as a tool (such as NWEA) which shows student growth in academic acquisition skills. Unfortunately, as it stands, our Greeley-Evans schools and teachers, driven by the CSAP mandate to improve scores, no longer have the autonomy to offer even a hint of meaningful, quality instruction due to the lock-step schedule, the elimination of recess, the demeaning scripted literacy program, and the overburdening of our teachers by the many additional tasks now to be done beyond their workday and without pay.

We acknowledge that decisions made at the local level consider primarily the state's control of our schools' finances. Such obeisance to state mandates creates a system blind to our children's needs and contradicts state law. In Owens v. Colo. Cong. of Parents, 92 P3d 933 (Colo 2004) the court rejected the defendant's argument that with greater state funding comes greater state control over educational policy.

There is too much focus on CSAP preparation and testing which overwhelms our educators and results in a slowing or even stagnation of academic growth in our students.

Our schools are entrusted with serving our children, developing their unique talents and addressing their specific needs. Such responsibilities are set forth in Article IX, Section 15 of the State Constitution and are supported by case law. In Cary v. Bd of Education 598 F2d 535 (10th Circuit - 1979) the court states, "It is legitimate for the curriculum of the school district to reflect the value system and educational emphasis which are the collective will of those whose children are being educated and who are paying the costs."

Currently our children's individual needs are not being met, and thus our Board of Education is condoning educational malpractice.

We, the undersigned call on the administration of Greeley/Evans District 6 to:

• humanize and individualize the literacy program for educators and students.
• reinstate scheduled recess for all K-5 classes.
• allow teachers to utilize their professional expertise in determining how to best adapt the curriculum to meet individual student needs.
• reduce the workload of teachers and increase teacher planning time to prepare materials to teach effectively.

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