Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez answers questions on education policy regarding a proposed Teachers Bill of Rights through his political director Ryan Lynch after questions were raised stemming from the use of the term “problem parent” in a radio interview while promoting a Teachers Bill of Rights. This prompted fierce speculation among grassroots activists on what such a bill would entail and how Beauprez defined the problem parent.
One Beauprez supporter posted the following comments attributed to the “Beauprez campaign team” which led to a spirited discussion on Beauprez’ education policy plans:
“The entire premise behind a “Teachers Bill of Rights” is to eliminate common core and PARCC assessments (and) give the power back to parents and local communities, don’t bog down instruction time with excessive testing, and let teachers teach. A ‘problem parent’ is one who does not get involved in early childhood education… teachers can only do so much, the parents must be involved too.”
Deputy Campaign Director Ryan Lynch was contacted to clarify the Facebook comments. He confirmed those comments were made in a private correspondence—calling them “not necessarily inaccurate”— and provided official positions to the questions below. Lynch responded to the questions via email. Answers have not been modified or edited.
How will a Teachers Bill of Rights eliminate Common Core and PARCC?
The Teachers Bill of Rights is intended to allow teachers to restore sanity in the classroom, independent of excessive testing, unions and bureaucrats.
The objective of eliminating Common Core is to improve education outcomes and restore more local control in education. This is also the objective of the Teachers Bill of Rights.
How will a Teachers Bill of Rights give teachers the flexibility to deal with problem parents/uninvolved parents?
No one loves a child more than their mother and dad. We should encourage parents to be more involved in their child’s education, not less. We also have to recognize the reality that some children come from a broken background. Student discipline is a growing problem for teachers whose hands are tied by government mandates. The government should not mandate what constitutes good parenting, and teachers need to have the liberty to set appropriate rules and maintain order in the classroom to create an environment of learning.
How do you define an uninvolved parent and what should be the consequences for their uninvolvement?
Many teachers face students in the classroom who come from broken homes, where a parent suffers from alcoholism, drug addiction, or is otherwise involved in illicit activities or is abusive. Often in these homes, the level of negligence reaches critical or chronic levels. The law already addresses these circumstances. The Teachers Bill of Rights simply addresses the teacher’s right to appropriately maintain order in their classroom.
What exactly will be included in a Teacher Bill of Rights?
Similar to Bobby Jindal’s initiative in Louisiana, it includes provisions to protect non-union teachers from frivolous lawsuits, allows teachers to appropriately maintain order and an environment for learning in their classroom, commits to removing excessively burdensome paperwork from teachers, and frees teachers from excessive and unnecessary government mandates.
Why not a Parents Bill of Rights?
To Bob, parental rights are implicit in the education of their children. No one loves a child more than their mother and dad, and parents should be actively involved in the education of their children. The purpose of the Teachers Bill of Rights is to affirm a teacher’s right to teach independent of excessive government or union imposed mandates.