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Izard, DeGrow Point Out Union Role in Jeffco Protests

The teacher sickouts and student walkouts in Jefferson County have drawn national headlines, but the true reasons behind the action have not received as much play. A national Reuters story explaining the Jeffco school board’s October 2 vote to create a more inclusive and transparent curriculum review process features insights into the manufactured controversy provided by the Education Policy Center’s newest team member:

Ross Izard, an education policy analyst for the Denver-based Independence Institute think tank, said neither a “misguided” argument about censorship, nor a debate over a new merit-based pay deal for teachers, fully explains the walk-outs.

“Instead, thousands of kids and teachers have been misled into fighting a vicious political proxy war between the union and the school board,” he said.

Izard’s September 29 column further explains how the union has been busy rewriting Jeffco history. Complete Colorado uncovered emails showing a union representative’s role in organizing teacher sickouts.

Ben DeGrow added his remarks on Breitbart:

“Union leaders have found their moment to further escalate their political attacks against a school board that wants to give parents more power and to engage a broader community in making important decisions about what’s taught in the classroom,” Ben DeGrow, senior education policy analyst at the Independence Institute, told Breitbart News.

“At the national union meeting in July, the Colorado Education Association president cited Jeffco as one of three school districts where union locals are in ‘crisis,’” he continued. “The so-called crisis is the union losing its grip on the school districts in question, and desperation has apparently now driven union leadership to drag in students and close down schools in order to score political points and preserve power.”

Last week, before the revelations had emerged, DeGrow also chimed in during a recorded interview with One News Now:

“There’s no other way for the students to have reached the conclusions they’ve reached and to act in a coordinated manner that they’re acting and so soon after all this has unfolded without some prompting behind the scenes,” he tells OneNewsNow. “And the most likely suspect has to be the teachers union.”

Coverage in places like Breitbart and the Education Intelligence Agency provides more of the Jeffco story. Meanwhile, national expert Rick Hess has offered a thoughtful take on the lack of balance in the new AP U.S. History framework.