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Douglas County

Parents march in search of answers

Posted

Parents and concerned community members met at the Phillip S. Miller library parking lot in Castle Rock on May 20 and marched carrying signs to the Douglas County School District administration building on Wilcox Street. There, they demanded answers and discussion from district administrators inside the building regarding the teacher evaluation system and what they described as the ongoing bullying and intimidation of staff and students.

"We want the district to know that at Rock Ridge we will protect our own," said Jen Johnson, a mother of three children who have been enrolled in Douglas County Schools since they were 5. "We won't allow our teachers and principal to be bullied, mistreated or demoralized."

Last week, an emergency meeting was called at Rock Ridge Elementary School in Castle Rock by district administrators to discuss the fact that too many of the staff at the school were given a rating of "effective" or "highly effective" by the school's principal. Amber Sorg, the school's principal, was put on administrative leave for allegations of misconduct, allegedly tied to a parent support rally at her school.

School board president Kevin Larsen has publicly stated that "there are no quotas" related to evaluation ratings.

Rock Ridge Elementary staff and parents are confused and concerned about why their teachers' rating are under review, given that there are no quotas.

They claim the rating system is being used throughout the district to determine pay for teachers and staff.  Those gathered said they believe that this rating system is ineffective, demoralizing and fails to measure a teacher's impact on his or her students. 

"Apparently our teachers at Rock Ridge are too good. Instead of the district praising our teachers for working hard to meet goals set out for them by their administrators they are being punished," Johnson said.

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