Teacher questions new evaluation system over civil disobedience

DENVER – When John Peterson teaches U.S. History at East High School, he wants his students to be critical thinkers. But, he says the new standards in Denver Public Schools are crossing the line.

“I really don’t think it’s the right place for the school district to expect teachers to push students to become activists,” Peterson said.

Pam Benigno is the Director of Education Policy for the Independence Institute, a conservative think-tank located in Denver. Benigno worries that there are politics at play here.

“I see it as really an abuse of power to think that a school district would use an evaluation system to promote an extreme political agenda,” Benigno said.

“Half of the kids in DPS aren’t even reading at grade level, yet the school district wants to make them into little social activists,” Benigno said.