Who’s Supporting Robert

Key Endorsements:

  • Lucia Guzman – State Senate Minority Leader
  • Honorable Dr. Val Flores – State Board of Education
  • Honorable Jack Kroll – University of Colorado Board of Regents
  • Dennis Gallagher – Former City Auditor
  • Jeannie Kaplan – Former School Board Member
  • Support of hundreds of Denver teachers, including an endorsement by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association
  • Our Denver, Our Schools
  • Denver Area Labor Federation
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Denver Federation of Paraprofessionals and Nutrition Service Employees
  • Angela Engel – Founder of Uniting 4 Kids
  • Charlene Shelton, RN, MPA, M.A, PhD – Adjunct Prof, University of Colorado Denver
  • Denver Alliance for Public Education
  • Margaret Atencio

Wow. Look at what people are saying:

When considering Barbara O’Brien vs. Robert Speth, consider these viewpoints:

Robert will be a strong advocate for ALL of Denver’s students and communities – Jeannie Kaplan, Former Denver School Board Member

I’ve known Robert for about 17 years now, and he’s one of the finest individuals I know. In light of his candidacy Robert Speth for DPS School Board At-Large let me share this story. He took me on a tour of Valdez and told me all about the big plans for renovation (to the tune of $6M). I heard “school” and “money” in the same sentence and had that little voice saying it’ll never happen. He helped get that daunting task done, and now Valdez is a model school for many reasons and for generations to come. Robert is now taking that passion to all the Denver Public Schools. If you live in Denver, I heartily recommend that you find out more about Robert and lend him your voice and your vote. – Andy Ard

Robert has not lost track of what is most important in public schools: the sustaining of “traditional neighborhood schools”.  As a DPS student for 12 years (starting ~60 years ago) , I cherished the balance of arts, sports, clubs etc, and solid professional teachers. Charter Schools have their place, but these “fiefdoms” create their own governing boards and layers of potential management problems. Parents have more and more problems understanding lottery systems for some schools. Our communities need more voice in balancing types of schools needed to insure we have a true public school system. – Dave French

Couldn’t think of a better man for the job! Caring individual, always the first to volunteer, great organizer. – Gail Piserchio Roth

Robert is an amazing, generous, and thoughtful person. I’m so glad that he’s running for the DPS school board. He’s given so much to our school, our community, and DPS…and I love that he questions the status quo and will not simply ‘rubber stamp’ what is put in front of him. He’s a champion for neighborhood schools and equity for all. I’m telling all of my network and friends about how important voting for Robert is! – Charles Shively, (Husband of a DPS teacher, father of two DPS kids)

I couldn’t think of a better Person for this job! Robert Speth had these Leadership Skills when I had Him in 6th Grade!!! – Jacque Strahl

I have never in my life donated to a campaign until now. I have never actively reached out to my contacts and asked for money for a cause until now. I have never actively participated in any campaign until now. Why? Robert is that special. I fully believe in him. He’s tireless and relentless in his pursuit of making a better world. He doesn’t just volunteer at school related events. He’s helping neighbors and friends with house projects, kid watching, carpooling, etc. He’s the real deal. – Very sincerely, Tim and Jill Darlington

I’m supporting Robert Speth because I feel the current Board is not serving the students of Denver. A laser-like focus on test scores as the primary definition of a good student, teacher or school is turning teachers into automatons and draining the life and creativity out of our kids and schools. Robert has a balanced approach that values teachers, whole-child learning, and community involvement, which is exactly what we need to make our kids and schools succeed. – Eve Cohen

I started paying attention to community politics five years ago when my daughter was born. I can’t believe how many times I’ve witnessed the DPS Board put on a smoke and mirrors show in the name of “community engagement,” all the while putting backdoor plans in motion that go directly against what families and community members want. The current board has shown time and time again that the community’s needs are falling on deaf ears. The continued rift between the DPS board and the Denver neighborhoods destabilizes community and wastes precious taxpayer dollars. This election I will be voting for Robert Speth because…

….I trust a parent with children currently enrolled in DPS more than I trust a career politician without kids. You gotta have some skin in the game.

….we need leadership who believe in neighborhood schools and aren’t beholden to corporate campaign donors with an agenda to convert neighborhood schools into charters.

….I want representation that has a proven record of adding value to neighborhood schools.

– Erin Pertuit, Proud mom of a current and future Centennial student

My choice for Robert Speth comes down to two words: trust and passion. Simply put, I trust Robert. I know Robert well and have seen him go to bat for issues that are in others’ best interests. I know that he will fight for whatever is best for the kids, regardless of any political affiliation – that will be irrelevant to him. He will base his opinions on facts and data and maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude through the process. I have also seen him in action and know that his passion for what is right will propel him to spend tireless nights fighting for Denver’s kids and community. – Allison Fries, Mom to a 2nd and 5th grader at Escuela Valdez

In this period of the rampant growth of profit-driven education and the extent to which we need alternatives to the conventional wisdom that has not served our children well, we need a persistent and creative voice toward solutions. Other candidates may seem to make wins for what seems to be a reflection of familiar faces and political alliances. However, as a grandparent to children who have recently entered our educational system, a former special education teacher and an inclusiveness specialist, I see Robert Speth with that sorely needed political sophistication and true advocacy for all. – Sherry Weston, MA, MSW, LCSW, former special education teacher, and grandparent

I live next door to Robert and have watched him work tirelessly on behalf of the kids, not just his, but everyone’s. The guy cares. A lot.  – Allison Page

As a teacher who has worked in traditional schools, charter schools, and alternative schools, I have witnessed the importance of having strong neighborhood schools. 
Teacher burnout is an all too common phenomenon in K-12 education, and when teachers leave their schools or the profession, it is problematic for students and their communities. Many people don’t know this, but charter schools like Denver’s famed DSST network are known for having high rates of teacher burnout because they hire uncertified and unprepared teachers, they usually have larger class sizes than traditional schools, and they fail to provide necessary academic and behavioral supports. For example, while I was teaching at DSST, 3 teachers and 1 administrator left before the school year was over. Moreover, only half of the teachers remained the following school year. These high rates of teacher turnover should be alarming to prospective teachers and parents because they mean that something detrimental is happening within the profession of education, and the magnitude is enough to cause teachers and administrators to change their careers.
Additionally, I believe that it is important to provide students with an enriching curriculum that provides more than just math and reading instruction. Charter schools notoriously “teach to the test” and focus instructional time only on subjects that are held accountable by standardized tests. This means that arts education, physical education, social studies, and many modes of cooperative learning are not held in high regard. Furthermore, teachers in many charter schools are mandated to teach using techniques that limit students to basic levels of learning, like understanding and restating information, instead of practicing higher levels of learning (analyzing, evaluating, and creating). This is a disservice to students because educated people ought to know how to think creatively and critically.
Strong neighborhood schools, on the other hand, vouch for recruiting qualified and competent teachers, retaining effective teachers, and teaching a curriculum with depth and breadth. It is important to have qualified teachers in schools because they learned the art of teaching, in addition to content mastery, in their college studies. If we ensure that our doctors are qualified, why don’t we ensure that our teachers are, too? After all, education impacts students for the rest of their lives.
I am voting for Robert Speth because, as a parent, he understands that supporting public education is essential to strengthening our communities. If you care about the future of public education, I strongly suggest that you vote for Speth, too!  – Alex Moroz, Teacher

If you, like these other Robert Speth supporters, are concerned about the next generation, and are frustrated with the current board, vote for Robert Speth when your ballot comes in the mail. Join with the thousands of others to improve DPS by getting involved today.aynes dps denver public school board denver