Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Attendance and DPS

I don't think adding an element of criminality to school makes school any better. We can't add a component as drastic as the criminal justice system to our education system. We have enough problems keeping our kids out of the system for trivial school problems that can be dealt with in a host of other ways without using the CJ system as a catchall. Why not figure out why kids are out of school and address those issues first.

Denver Public Schools may consider making attendance a factor in whether students pass or fail a grade, after an analysis found some students skipped as much as a third of the past school year.

"We just want to put it on the table," said Happy Haynes, a DPS administrator who worked on the analysis, adding, "It's controversial."

Linking attendance to promotion and retention was among the ideas mentioned Monday after Denver School Board members received what is believed to be the district's first in-depth look at attendance in years.

The results confirmed what many already suspected: Large numbers of middle and high school students are skipping big chunks of the school year.

West High School reported the worst rate, with 42 percent of its students missing more than 65 days in 2006-07. That's more than a third of the 173.5 days of the past school year.

School board members made no decisions during Monday night's informal work session. Instead, they listened as Haynes, assistant to the superintendent for community partnerships, presented the analysis along with Glenna Norvelle, special assistant to the superintendent.

The two also offered possible ways to address the issue, ranging from incentives such as movie passes for students with improved attendance to a "stipulated agreement" to get students' attention before they end up in juvenile court for truancy.

Norvelle said the agreement, worked out with the juvenile court system, allows students to avoid going to court provided they meet terms set out by DPS.

"We want to get their attention earlier in the process," she said, "before they show up in court."

Several board members said a districtwide attendance policy may be needed because schools vary in the handling of absences.

Board member Michelle Moss said some principals appear to have a policy of "after X number of absences, you don't get credit" for classes. Board President Theresa Peña said there's confusion over whether students are kicked out of school after missing 20 straight days.

Consequences have been "very inconsistently applied school to school," Haynes said.

The analysis found one effort to improve attendance, closing high school campuses at lunchtime, has had little impact. But board members did not seem inclined to change the initiative, begun last fall. Some said they believe it will make a difference as principals figure out better ways to enforce it.

Superintendent Michael Bennet said the analysis represents more than a year's work to create a system that breaks down attendance - by school, by grade, by subject, even by teacher. Nine high school teachers averaged student attendance rates of 97 percent or higher in 2006-07.

"When school opens next year, on a weekly or daily basis, we can generate the reports you see here," he told the board. "So we can say to schools, hey, you're in the bottom third in attendance this month; we don't want to see this next month."

Haynes said the data will allow DPS to pinpoint best practices and ask questions, such as "How are those six high school teachers getting 97 percent attendance rates?"


Anonymous said...

Asking why the students aren't in school often leads to the blame game - bad teachers, weak parents, poor school administration -and doesn't address a major problem. When do the students start behaving in a responsible way? Middle and high school students are very capable of showing up to school. Every time we make excuses for their absence, whatever the excuse, we enable them to be less than the responsible citizens they are capable of being. Offering rewards for doing their "job" is enabling bad behavior to continue. It's time to respect them enough to hold them accountable for their behavior.

And just in case you think I live in la-la land, I am a GED teacher at the jail and I hold my students to the same standard - be responsible for your work and your time.

Anonymous said...

James Mejia is a moron and can't be trusted. Everything he touches ends up costing more than it should.

Anonymous said...

說起這位明英宗朱祁鎮 真是好有一比:在北京高峰時酒店經紀段開車:生不完的氣。

先說年號問題,明朝皇帝在位時間再長, 酒店兼差年號也只有一個,惟獨他特殊,在位總共不過十五年,年號卻有兩個,前一個叫正統,後一個叫天順。倒不是因為他非要搞特權,兩個年號之間, 禮服店是由一大堆可氣的事串起來的。

先說正統朝,差不多是地球酒店打工人都知道的,這麼多的忠良幹才他不信任,偏寵信一個教書先生出身的太監王振, 一幹閹党把國家禍害得烏煙瘴氣。後來瓦剌犯邊,忠臣良將的苦勸不聽,偏聽死太監攛掇,非要御駕親徵, 合法酒店經紀帶著幾十萬人牛氣哄哄出了長城,按說既然親徵你就好好 打啊,他不,走到半道又後悔了,連敵人影 酒店工作都沒見著就撤兵,撤兵麼撤得快點啊,跑還沒跑成,讓人家圍在土木堡包了餃子,稀裏糊塗一場 酒店上班混戰,幾十萬大軍全死 光,連本人也當了俘虜。丟人到如此,實在可氣。

英宗被抓到蒙古高原上去啃生羊肉了, 酒店兼職爛賬總要有人收拾。皇帝讓人綁了,敵人打到家門口了,總不成學宋朝 來個衣冠南渡吧!還好喝酒 有他親弟弟給他收拾,弟弟朱祁鈺繼承帝位,改年號為景泰,可氣的正統朝總算結束了。景泰帝信用 酒店PT良臣于謙,成功組織北京保衛戰打垮敵 人,再運用外交壓力,逼得酒店喝酒 瓦剌把英宗放回來當太上皇,總算不用學宋徽宗那樣客死他鄉。折騰半天,祖宗江山差點丟了不說 禮服酒店,皇位也折騰沒了。這樣的鬧劇,怪不 得別人。

雖是傻事敗事一籮筐,但傻人總算有傻福,雖說皇位沒了, 台北酒店經紀命還是保住了,回來舒舒服服過太上皇的日子倒也 不交際應酬 錯,可他不消停,拉幫結派培植私人勢力,幾年後趁著弟弟病重搞了場“奪門之變”。奪粉味 回了皇位不說,上臺第一件事就是殺掉了功臣于謙。並把當初北京保衛戰 的功臣們來了個大清洗,掌握朝政大權的都是徐有貞、石亨、曹吉祥等一幫姦險小人。雖然過了沒幾年,這幾個人也被明英宗清算,下獄的下獄(石亨),充軍的充 軍(徐有貞) 寒假打工,被殺的被殺(曹吉祥),可明朝的政治氣象,還是一片烏煙瘴氣。

皇位奪回來了,自然就要改年號。於是,明英宗 兼差改年號為天順。從正統年到天順年,打敗仗,殺忠良,寵小人,亂國家,儘是他辦的敗事, 酒店小姐每每讀史到此,不知有多少人氣得 酒店公關直哆嗦。

可正統朝的事畢竟年頭遠了,真正給後 暑假打工世攢下麻煩的,是天順朝。

“天順”麼,按字面意思,自然有風調雨順的意思。 打工從這個意義上說,“天順”朝時代的明朝,運氣還真不 壞,別的且不說,單說綁過明英宗票的瓦剌,那在土木堡創下台北酒店經紀擊敗明朝幾十萬大軍,活捉明朝皇帝偉業的瓦剌首領也先,沒死在大對頭明朝手裏,倒在內戰中被一刀 砍死。到了天順朝時期,瓦剌又和鄰居韃靼打個不停,因此,雖然少了良將於謙,但終天順一朝的邊 酒店境形勢,還算是太平無事。