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Letter to the Editor: Board change needed to improve


For anyone who did not know, the Jefferson County school board recently released CMAS state test results. I was happy to see some gains but shocked that 50 percent of third graders do not meet the reading and math standards. I need to underline and bold that. 50 percent of third graders across Jefferson County do not meet reading and math standards! Reading and math! The coming election for the school board is more important than ever if we want to improve and serve every kid in Jeffco.

I am writing to show my support for two (2) specific candidate’s in this election. Matt Van Gieson and Erica Shields. Matt is a native of Jeffco, a Jeffco graduate and the father of four children, all under the age of 7! He gets it. I heard him say that he has “a combined 50 years of future education in Jeffco.” How many candidates can say that? He has a vested interest in improving the academic results for the future. He cares about the long-term success of education in Jeffco, as Matt put it “I look at my children and statistically, two of them will not be ready for 4th grade”. He is willing to address the harsh realities of our poor test results in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County must do better than failing half of the third graders in their communities. It is unconscionable that so many kids are failing so young and so early in their education. It is simply unacceptable! I believe Matt Van Gieson will bring tough issues like this to the forefront and work hard to meet all student learning needs in Jeffco.

I also support Erica Shields. She will also work hard to ensure an effective education for all students in Jeffco. She has spent countless hours volunteering in low-income schools and has demonstrated she will do all she can because All kids deserve a quality education. I don’t want more of what we have. I want better for every kid in Jefferson County.

Please vote for Matt Van Gieson and Erica Shields on November 7th.

Jennifer Butts,


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