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Mike Kiley vs. Lisa Flores in Denver’s District 5 School Board Election

September 19, 2015
January, 1985. Entrance to Columbian School (40th and Federal, Denver) before it was renovated into a much worse, less functional building...From left to right: Abbie Prince, Molly Prince, Bethany Frisbee

January, 1985. Entrance to Columbian School (40th and Federal, Denver) before it was renovated into a much worse, less functional building…From left to right: Abbie Prince, Molly Prince, Bethany Frisbee

Mike Kiley vs. Lisa Flores in the District 5 School Board Race…some thoughts – a result of a conversation with Russell T. at Common Grounds a couple of months ago that has always stuck with me.

Have known about this race for some time. Some friends, including a few here on Facebook have supported Kiley. On the other hand several of my former students, now in the neighborhood, are rather cool to Kiley (also Facebook friends) because although he is not particularly gung ho, he supports charter schools (which neither they nor me nor my friends who support Kiley have much interest in)…

Today Kiley made the rounds in the coffee shops, one of which I was sitting in, chatting with “a bunch of old guys” just as we happened to be talking about the school board election of which none of us knew much. Kiley who claims to have helped “turn around” Skinner Middle School, was accompanied by his campaign manager, CL Harmer and former city councilman, state senator, city auditor and failed mayoral candidate, Dennis Gallagher.

What concerns me about our neighborhood concerning education…two issues..
1. whole areas – those that used to serve Horace Mann Middle School, already “food deserts” are becoming “educational deserts.” There seems to be little interest in addressing this blatantly prejudical situation that I could see, either from Flores or Kiley
2. (related to A) – i support strengthening the public schools at the expense of Charter Schools that I hope some day will be entirely eliminated from our educational system, being as they are little more than cash cows, draining the public education system, and academically, generally of no better quality and often worse quality than the public schools. “Strengthening the public schools” means better teacher training, better teacher pay and working conditions, better public healthcare facilities in the schools, better social services as today’s kids bring society’s problems with them…ie, I want the kids of the present and future in Denver to enjoy the kind of high quality public school education I know is possible, because that is exactly what I enjoyed as a kid.

That brings me to Lisa Flores.

One of her campaign people stopped by the house a few days ago. I asked what was her position on charter schools. He gave me some crap about how “charter schools are really public schools and didn’t i know that”. I thanked him for this vapid cliched answer, thought of saying something “uncharitable” but simply suggested he get off of my porch and move on (I was with a friend who,known for his historic politeness, was much more polite). Turns out that Lisa Flores has an election war chest of some $500,000, formerly associated with the Gates Foundation…that for a non-paying position of school board member! Kiley has only collected $20,000 the poor man.

It doesn’t take much of a cynic to conclude that all that money has something to do with how Ms. Flores would vote on public education matters, does it?

So…very simply – I’ll vote for Kiley.

I am concerned with what appears to be his lack of knowledge or concern about the educational fate of the (few) less prosperous neighborhoods of the district that are left…Hopefully he will give them more attention, meet with that part of the community, listen to their concerns and address them …

But whatever his limitations…warts and all, he’s a head and shoulders better candidate than is opponent; it’s hard to consider her anything other than a shill for those paying for her campaign war chest.

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