Reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic and revolution in Denver

“Students in the Denver Public Schools need to know reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, but what about the fourth “r” — revolution? asks the Washington Times.

New teacher-assessment criteria described a “distinguished” teacher as one who “encourages students to challenge and question the dominant culture” and “take social action to change/improve society or work for social justice.” The district’s “Framework for Effective Teaching” also said teachers would be scored on whether “[s]tudents appear comfortable challenging the dominant culture in respectful ways.”

After critics complained, the district eliminated references to the “dominant culture” and “social change.”

The updated language says a top teacher “encourages students to think critically about equity and bias in society, and to understand and question historic and prevailing currents of thought as well as dissenting and diverse viewpoints,” and “cultivates students’ ability to understand and openly discuss drivers of, and barriers to, opportunity and equity in society.”

Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg said the “real intent” was to produce students who are “critical thinkers.”

But what if they want to think critically about the meaning of “social justice” or question the prevailing definition of “equity?”

About Joanne


  1. I’m pessimistic about the goals and outcome of revolutions carried out by those who haven’t learned the first three R’s after a K-12 public education. Maybe we should just focus on academics in school like people outside education expect.

  2. I’m getting REALLY tired of Ed schools’, and the State Boards of Education, which they influence, deliberately mandating a “disposition” in favor of Liberalism. This amounts to indoctrination of helpless children, and is a violation of our duty to the parents and the community.

    I suggest that teachers of more conservative bent start lobbying to get elected to the state boards of education.

    Soon. Before we find that the Liberals are firmly entrenched, and cannot be dislodged.

  3. An important function of schools in the past was to create a civil and functional society. Now in Denver, we are explicitly told their function is to create disorder.

    What the hell has happened to us?

  4. Roger Sweeny says:

    This 4th “R” doesn’t sound like revolution to me. It sounds like religion. It requires schoolchildren to divide the world into good and bad. It tells them what to do for a proper, meaningful life. It prohibits questioning the base of the taught morality. That’s faith.

    I strongly suspect that the people responsible for this don’t have much connection to traditional religion and are using this as a substitute.

    So is this a First Amendment violation?

  5. Don’t assume that all or even many liberals think this is a good idea. lMost of us would realize that if you indoctrinate in one direction, you can indoctrinate in any direction.

  6. If I teach my math students to rigorously analyze inequalities and journal about the implications of a closed dot showing “or equals to” can I get credit for that fourth R?

  7. You do not teach kids to dissent. That is so devoid of any intelligence that it makes total sense it comes from the Washington Times. Kids need to learn how to think. Being critical is not the same as dissension. Additionally, if they are thinking critically, logically, and with a wide base of knowledge in how events have played in the past why would anyone worry that they would make the ‘wrong’ decision? It sounds more like parents are failing to send kids to school with any kind of code of ethical behavior. If a thinking person has ethics, logic, and facts how can they fail? That shows a serious lack of knowledge and respect for what the role of teachers and parents have independently and dependently upon one another to raise kids that are capable of being civilized, literate, and successful citizens.