November 2008

You Can't Buy Excellence

I was thrilled to see my children's school, Steele Elementary, mentioned in the September issue of 5280 ["Denver's Top Schools"] where it was compared with nearby Asbury Elementary in terms of what a difference an active PTA makes. How terribly inconvenient then that Asbury was rated a "Distinguished" school in the latest School Performance Framework at 90 percent while Steele only managed a 74 percent and a rating of "Meets Expectations." Is it possible that there are problems that money, even PTA money, can't solve? I would like to see our PTA cease its relentless money-making and move back to the PTA's function of "feel-good dedication to advocacy and community building."
Marie Meyer

Thank you to 5280 for the September issue highlighting the top 44 schools in the Denver area. I commend the magazine's education panel for its effort to look at schools through multiple lenses rather than simply the CSAP lens. A great school is indeed more than just its scores. How­ever, I would be remiss not to point out a real gem missed by the panel—Centaurus High School in Lafayette. By several measures and community standards, our school is achieving excellence in many areas.
Rhonda Haniford
Principal, Centaurus High School

Stories from Greeley

I wanted to let you know that your article "Pinched" in the August issue was very well done. It was brought to my attention by some of my childhood friends that I grew up with in Greeley. My friends and I are direct descendants of migrant workers. Even though we all came from different parts of the world, we were all a part of a heritage that came to this country looking for a better life. I am proud to say that I am an example of what the Monfort meatpacking plant helped nurture. My dad worked at that plant his whole life, and my parents were able to provide for our family. Not only did they provide but they also did what was needed to get their two boys through public school and into college without having to care about how it was going to be paid for. This is the work and home ethic that the majority of immigrants have, yet it is the story that is never heard. I am now proud to say that this descendant of Spanish, French, and Cuban blood holds a bachelor's and master's degree. That group of friends I talked about before all has similar stories. It's a shame that people forget that most of us are descendants of immigrants and that our ancestors requi­red some compassion from those that called themselves citizens of this nation at one time.
Mike M.
via e-mail

In October's "Top Doctors" we inadvertently omitted Dr. Jason M. Jacobs from the list. Dr. Jacobs is a Denver ophthalmologist. His office is located at 950 E. Harvard Ave., Suite 320; 303-282-5467. We regret the error.

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