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KUSA - Amidst the loud crowd upset at the new conservative school board majority in Jefferson County is a quiet group of parents like Sunny Flynn.

"Majority of Jeffco voters believe it's time for a change in Jeffco," School district parent Flynn said.

Saturday morning, hundreds of people packed into the school board room to attend a hearing regarding the resignation of Cindy Stevenson.

Many people in the crowd believe the long-time superintendent is being pushed out behind closed doors and staged a loud protest which disrupted and ended the meeting early.

"I think it was clearly orchestrated by the union," Flynn said.

She points out that in November Ken Witt, John Newkirk, and Julie Williams won their respective school board races by significant margins. She says parents want a new direction in the district that is more about local control.

"I really want a district where parents, the teachers, and the principals have more of a say," Flynn said.

Michele Patterson is president of the Jeffco PTA who was at the meeting Saturday morning.

"It was not a union-orchestrated event by any means," Patterson said.

She says the direction of the district has been good over the years before the new board was elected.

"Under Cindy [Stevenson's] tenure, graduation rates went up. Remediation rates went down," Patterson said.

Patterson does wonder about the tactics of the new board members, especially after they hired their own attorney separate from the district.

"We're definitely concerned with the lack of transparency we see," Patterson said.

Flynn sees it much differently.

"Our new school board is actually being much more transparent," Flynn said.

Flynn likes how the new board members are moving the meetings around the district so more parents can attend and have an open conversation, she says, about the future of the district.

"Do we want charters or do we not want charters?" Flynn said. "Do we want vouchers or do we not want vouchers?"

School vouchers are program that surfaced in Douglas County after a conservative majority there was elected in 2008. The district started the program, but had to suspend it after lawsuits were filed challenging the constitutionality of the program. It is still pending court decision.

"Vouchers, we feel, tend to benefit wealthier families," Patterson said.

The question is, do hints to Jeffco's future lie within the past Douglas County Schools?

Over the past few years, hundreds of experienced educators left Douglas County because of frustrations with the school board.

"I don't want to see that happen here. We have some incredible, incredibly-dedicated principals and teachers," Patterson said. "I don't want to see this district lose its best and brightest to surrounding school districts."

In Douglas County, the conservative school board dissolved any relations with the Douglas County Federation including the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The teachers union still exists, but it is weakened.

"Our unions do not equal our teachers," Flynn said. "I'm not sure if our current union is really representing the voice of our teachers."

In Douglas County, there has been a slight shift in student achievement. From 2012 to 2013, reading TCAP scores show an across-the-board decline in proficiency of an average 1.2 percent in grades 3 through 7.

But, in grades 8 through 10, proficiency rates increased by an average of 1.7 percent. When the CSAP test was administered in 2010 and 2011, reading proficiency rates dropped by 1 or 2 percentage points from grades 7 through 10. In the younger grades, reading scores remained flat.

Under the TCAP tests, math scores declined slightly across the board in all grades between 2012 and 2013. With the CSAP tests in 2010 and 2011, math scores also decreased slightly overall.

Looking at the spending habits of the school board in Douglas County, the board has decide to reserve $169 million since 2008 compared to the total amount of revenue that comes in. That decision is within the prerogative of the school board. Before 2008, the Douglas County School District usually spent most if not all of the revenue that came in.

What does this all mean for Jeffco Schools? It is widely-viewed that the conservative base in Douglas County is much bigger than in Jefferson County.

"I think it's important to note that Jeffco is not Dougco," Flynn said. "Jeffco will look different than what Jeffco looks like and I think Jeffco as a community needs to decide what they want to do."

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