The place to be on Halloween

Once again the Old North End, (N. Tejon) was the place to be for Halloween. Even with temperatures hovering around 35 degrees, which my frozen feet can attest to, the turnout was spectacular.

This year, although hundreds below the banner year of over 2,300, it was never-the-less awesome. A good estimate of just trick or treaters excluding adults was 1,520. From Uintah to Del Norte and north was a sea of bodies elbow to elbow hurrying from house to house for their share of the goodies. Costumes were, as always, creative and fun and the kids were respectful and very orderly.

I want to thank the ONE homeowners association for providing street barricades to limit traffic thus protecting the little ones and the homeowners who went all out with their creative and entertaining decorations. Maybe the ONE homeowners will consider a contest for the best decorations next year and the media will provide better coverage.

We are looking forward to next year and hope more residents beyond the 1400 block of Tejon will go all out decorating.

Doug Gardner

Colorado Springs

Loudest ‘mama bears’ in the room

A recent editorial by the Colorado Springs Gazette is titled “Trust the mama bears to improve public schools,” (Oct. 28) and claims that women running for local school boards are now awake at the helm to save their children from “Big Education”. This may be true, but only if the bear is white and the cubs have not a speck of color in their downy fur.

The hypocritical flavor of the season lies baked into these school board races. Candidates who perceive that the “Big Education” system is suddenly threatened by critical race theory and critical gender theory have arisen from a long winter and are barring their claws. The irony is that “Big Education” worked very well for their children for years, decades, (centuries!) It’s designed to work for these kids. Who “Big Education” fails are all of the other kids. You know, those kids whose families have been asking for a change to the system for years, decades (centuries?). The kids whose parents work lots of jobs, who can’t afford child-care, who are profiled based on their skin color or gender non-conformity the minute they walk through the doors of any school.

These are the kids and families who need to be calling out “Big Education”, and these are the kids for whom the “mama bears”, if they had any ounce of empathy or hint of a moral compass, should be advocating.

I agree that teacher’s unions and political agendas are a threat to kids, but not the kids the women running for school boards are worried about. “Big Education” produces big inequities, something that Colorado Springs School District 11 is calling out for the first time in its history. Will our approach to education change to include trauma-informed instruction, culturally responsive teaching strategies, and Restorative Practices? I hope so. Are these approaches a threat to the middle and upper class white cubs? I think not.

Any teacher (or parent) can attest that the loudest child receives the most attention. Right now, the loudest in the room are these “mama bears”, worried that... what? That wearing masks and meeting the needs of all students (not just theirs) is going to derail their precious cubs from getting into college or earning a white-collar salary?

A 20 year career teaching in public schools provides me with an untold number of qualitative data — street data, if you will — that the damage Big Education ensues on kids who exist on any margin is alive and well. Thriving, even.

Rosanna Czarnecki

Colorado Springs

District 11’s equity program

Last month several of us from our neighborhood attended the D-11 Café on Equity. A document at the meeting stated that D-11 was not teaching critical race theory (CRT). Based on this event, one could say that CRT was being infused into the District, calling it equity.

Since then, I have been immersed in the State of Colorado EDI (equity, diversity, inclusion) documentation. It is everywhere in the state agencies. Colorado Department of Education (CDE) provides directives to the local school districts to “bring an equity lens to their systems, policies and everyday work.” The Equity Resources for Districts and BOCES at the CDE promotes assumptions and goals of CRT, even providing resources written by CRT authors and organizations.

The directive mentioned above includes principles for addressing “inequity” and “equity lens questions” for addressing policy or practice change. Our country was founded on the ideal of everyone having equal opportunity. Equity is about manipulating resources to insist on the same outcomes for everyone.

In the meantime, our district is paying for new software programs to collect student and family data, has hired a Diversity Manager to ensure that equity, diversity, and inclusion are achieved in relation to “gaps” that were identified by an outside consulting firm, AIR. The American Research Institute (AIR.org) is dedicated to providing technical assistance to “address the underlying causes of systemic inequities.” So just what is the District teaching students, parents and teachers?

Lynda Rodgerson

Colorado Springs

Where is the common sense?

Under the Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s (CPW) provisions, for the last 30 years, my friend and I have applied to hunt as a “group” because we depend on each other’s resources and assistance especially now at 73 and 80 years old. With five years’ of preference points each, we applied as a group again and we were selected for a special hunt. Unfortunately, due to a major health problem, 20 days before the start of the hunting season I had to cancel my trip. Due to the emergency, CPW allowed me to turn my license in without a refund but allowed me to retrieve my preference points. My friend was not allowed to do the same because he was told he needed to notify CPW 30 days before the beginning of the season. There was no way he could know I was going to have a health issue only 20 days before the beginning of the season.

Since my friend had no one to hunt with and considering the risk of hunting alone, his only choice was to forfeit his license and preference points. Being selected as a “group”, one would think if something happened to prevent one individual from hunting, the other would also qualified to withdraw and at least save their preference points. What was to be our last special hunt together will never happen. Will we ever see a day when a good common sense decision overrides a blind rule?

Wendell “Wayne” Gardner

Colorado Springs

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