Defending the district
April 24, 2002
Regarding (Tuesday’s) Aspen Times story about Carrie Morgridge and her request for thousands of documents – e-mails, letters, and other correspondence from the Aspen School District – I have the following comments.
I don’t think Ms. Morgridge really understands the implications of her demands and the negative publicity this gives an outstanding school district. What’s curious is that she states that her motive is to “make the Aspen School district the best in Colorado.” Ms. Morgridge fails to realize that we are one of the best districts – and we have the credentials, awards, programs, and test scores to prove it. Our graduates return to tell us how well prepared they have been for college – and moreover, life.
As professionals we cannot abrogate our responsibilities and obligations to all children. Ms. Morgridge’s request to see tens of thousands of documents paralyzes the district at one of the most difficult times of the year. (It also has demoralized our talented and dedicated staff, like a rough kick in the ribs. Combing through our e-mail? Now that’s a nice way to end the year.) Where do we want to put our limited energy? We have a choice – either into the education and well-being of our students or a witch hunt that has not even been clearly defined by the accuser.
As a member of the District Accountability Committee, I find Ms. Morgridge’s approach contrary and detrimental to our purposes. I firmly believe that Carrie does not represent the majority of parents of our students, and it is important to keep her demands and comments in perspective in order that we don’t overreact and compromise the welfare and education of all.
We need to work together – administrators, teachers, parents – to continue to improve our district based on the needs of all children, with all stakeholders represented. Then, and only then will we have a democratic process that reflects the best education for all students.
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