New education group forms in Grand Junction
Founder says aim is to address problems within District 51 schools
A new, as-yet-unnamed group in the Grand Valley plans to bring teachers, parents and citizens together to discuss issues in School District 51.
Marjorie Haun, a former special education teacher, current substitute teacher and conservative blogger at Reagangirl.com, said she and a few friends dreamed up the group, which held its first meeting Dec. 12. About 25 people attended the first meeting, she said, and others have joined a mailing list.
“We’re a nonpartisan group of people who have had children come up through District 51 or have children in District 51 or have an education background,” Haun said, adding that she fits in all three categories. “We’re going to get together to address specific problems in District 51 with policy and also problems we see at specific schools.”
Topics for the group so far have included an interest in the district creating a uniform student behavior code and concerns about mandates that create more work for teachers. Haun said the main topic has been Common Core standards, a roster of academic standards adopted in 45 states, including Colorado.
“We’re not sure how much discretion our school board has to tailor common core to specific students in the district,” Haun said.
Haun said the Nov. 5 school board election “got people’s attention,” but she said questions about Common Core truly drove the desire for people to join the group. She said the group will assist parent-teacher organizations with school issues and may take concerns about district-wide issues and potential solutions to the school board.
“We would love for parents to get involved and really be the boots on the ground, listening to the teachers, seeing how we can really problem-solve to make sure our kids get what they need,” she said.