Category Archives: Nate Easley

Nate Easley, voucher proponent

A lot’s been said about the despicable, race-baiting campaign launched by the LiFERs (Latinos for Education Reform).  It should be noted that these persons with Hispanic surnames don’t actually send their own kids to the zero-tolerance test prep labs that are the charter schools they promote.  No, their kids get to go to cool magnets and the better schools in town, because THEY DON’T ACTUALLY LIVE IN NEIGHBORHOODS WITH HIGH NUMBERS OF LATINO FAMILIES.

Turns out that the LiFERs are really just a front for the pro-voucher movement.  You remember vouchers, right?  It’s the experiment normally tried on low-income communities to slide out of the social contract to provide a sound and equitable public education to every child in America.  You know, like the experiment in Milwaukee that never worked, not even after 20 years of heartfelt trying.

And for all the gnashing of teeth about “accountability,” LiFER’s high-powered cadre of influential folks can’t seem to get the federal nonprofit organization functions right.  They’re apparently having trouble filing the right legal documents to bash pro-community candidates and promote their corporate reform slate.

That would be bad enough, except that it’s come to light that one of the signers of the race-baiting campaign, Myles Mendoza, is a voucher proponent.  Not only does he:

But now he’s so much of a big, fat voucher proponent that he even threw a party at his Castle Rock home in May of this year when Douglas County passed their faux-charter-for-vouchers scheme.

And then he tried to cover his tracks.  That was good for a few laughs.

But upon closer scrutiny of the party pictures, who do we see gazing lovingly up at the speakers?  Well, it’s northeast Denver’s own “representative,” Dr. Nate Easley.  Himself.  In the flesh.

DPS President Nate Easley supports vouchers

Nate is enthralled by the talk about vouchers has more.

Wow, Nate.  Just when we thought you wouldn’t stoop any lower than to turn coat on your community within hours of winning your election, now we see that you’re also willing to privatize and destroy your community’s public schools.

By the way, he’s endorsed Jennifer Draper Carson, the Stand for Children poster child in northwest Denver.


Christmas in May for Far Northeast Children

May 5, 2011

DPS Board of Directors, and Superintendent,

No Christmas for Montbello students

You have seen me at board meetings, some of you have seen me at events and   locations within the Far Northeast as well as in other  communities. Director Pena, we spoke at one of the A+ meetings held in the  Far Northeast where I asked you to “do the math” before supporting the  “turnaround” plans for Far Northeast.

I joined the board meeting/conference call held Monday, May 2, 2011;   subsequent to that call, I want you to know that I am  disappointed in and disgusted by your willful and blatant disregard  for the law, the teachers, the staff, the students, the parents, the community  members, and the school process mandated by SB 08-130 to govern approval of  innovation (autonomous) schools.

I am whole-heatedly supportive of improving education, the access to   education, and the system of education for ALL students in the  existing public schools which are supported by 60% of my personal property tax  dollars.

I am supportive of sincere and honest efforts to respect and  include students, teachers, parents and communities in the development  and implementation of educational plans which affect us as  stakeholders in the Far Northeast.

I am supportive of the DPS board, administrators, and staff –  including yourselves – respecting and following the requirements  of Senate Bill 08-130 Innovations School Act in all matters concerning  the application and approval of such schools.

On Monday, May 2, 2011, Superintendent Boasberg, DPS  President Easley, along with Directors Pena, Hoyt, and  Seawall demonstrated a blatant disregard for the process of  consent – by administrators, teachers, other school employees, students,  parents, school advisory councils, and community members – required by SB  08-130 to approve innovation schools.

I object – along with thousands of other residents in the Far  Northeast –   to the mass privatization of our public schools in the  Far Northeast where I live.

I object to subjecting teachers; especially those who are minority and pension-invested, employed in the Far Northeast “turnaround” schools, to at-will firings and the so-called reduction in building process. I  object that you and other proponents of the “turnaround” process did not  have to sit before those teachers to see their faces when they cried.

I object to mass, ivy league, non-credentialed, 5 and 6-week  trainees being hired to replace stellar, credentialed,  experienced, mostly minority teachers in the Far Northeast.

I object to the blatant disregard of the expressed wishes and needs of   students, parents, and community members in the Far Northeast.

When you visit your doctor or designated hospital, God forbid that you   and/or your family will be forced to be treated by non-certified, non-licensed,  inexperienced, 5-6 week trainees who have been hired to replace   certified, licensed, experienced physicians, nurses and staff because  corporatist think that somehow the goal is all that matters. Intelligent people  realize that the goal is important but, who takes you there and how you get  to your destination are essential.

As elected officials of the “people” who elected you, you owe your   constituents the respect and dignity to be PRESENT in your  communities, to LISTEN, and to VOTE THEIR WISHES – that is why you were  elected.

Speaking OF the children does not equate to working FOR the  children. Supporters of the so-called “turnaround” plans, school reform,  and the charter school movement seem to operate as though they  are preparing for a poor kids Christmas party (charter schools)  where exciting “presents” (various school curricula) can be opened,  and there, the children and families will sing Christmas songs (hale to the  charter schools) and the communities will realize how wonderful the givers  (turnaround/reform supporters) are. Ignored was that the givers  didn’t ask the parents what the kids needed or what they wanted them to have.  The kids are pleased for only a short time because the “presents” were  not what they really needed, or wanted.

The DPS board of directors and superintendent tip-toeing around 900 Grant  Street hiding injustices is not the same as parents tip-toeing round  their houses, hiding Christmas presents.

“The power of the people is more  powerful than the people in power.” Perhaps that is what you are fearful of; however, if you are  a part of the people, you are a part of the power.

Earleen Brown
Far Northeast Denver resident
Concerned Citizen
DeFENSE member

Recall organizers question Denver Elections Division findings, vow to continue fight

Below is a statement issued by John McBride, chair of the Northeast Community Congress for Education and spokesman for the Nate Easley recall effort:

Considering that Nate Easley had over $60,000 in campaign contributions from wealthy donors who didn’t even live in his district, our unfunded volunteer effort signals the beginning of the end for DPS officials who are tone-deaf to the needs of their constituents.

While we do have significant concerns about the Denver Elections Division’s process regarding fairness, accuracy, professional conflicts of interest and alleged leaking of information to Nate Easley’s operatives, the fact remains that more people signed the petition to recall Nate Easley than voted to elect him.

If anyone thinks that those 6000 voices don’t matter just because the Elections Division threw out their names, they had better think again. Our grassroots effort should put Mr. Easley on notice that whether through another recall effort or by voting him out of office, his days are numbered as our District 4 school board representative.

The public has no tolerance for elected officials who are bought and paid for. The recall initiative mobilized thousands of people who are dissatisfied with decades of DPS experiments resulting in school shut downs and phase outs that disrupt our communities, displace our children and scapegoat our teachers.

We have built significant political capital within the Northeast and Far Northeast communities, and we intend to use it to improve our schools the right way – in true collaboration with the community.

Recall petitions multimedia

Below is a gallery of photos of copying the petitions:

[nggallery id=2]

And here are videos of the press conference:

Best quote: “In that document, it says ‘we the people.’ But in that document, it should also say, ‘power to the people.'” –John McBride

Part 2:

Best quote: “…DPS’ ‘magic math;’ that is, disappearing students.”

Part 3:


Best quote: “We stand with the 6,000 people who understand that in these hard economic times, elected officials should not be firing hundreds of dedicated public servants, or the people will rise up and fire these same officials.”

November’s coming, Denver. Will you stand with us to take back our schools?

Mas de 5.000 personas están de acuerdo: ¡Fuera con Easley!

el 28 de marzo del 2011

Contacto: John McBride 720-270-0327 o Larry Borom 303-355-4635
Organizaciones: Northeast Community Congress for Education, Black Education Advisory Council, and Democrats for Excellent Neighborhood School Education (DeFENSE)


Sitio del Red:

Evento: Entrega de peticiones para la retirada del representante del DPS Distrito 4

Fecha/Hora: Martes, 29 de marzo, 2011 3:30 pm

Lugar: Denver Election Commission , 200 W. 14th Ave., Suite 100 (esquina suroeste, 14th y
Bannock), Denver, 80204

Más de 5,000 votantes del Noreste de Denver Apoyan la Retirada del Presidente y Representante del Distrito 4 del la Mesa Ejecutiva de DPS, Nate Easley

Denver, CO – Mas de 5,000 residentes de Denver, incluso Montbello y Green Valley Ranch, firmaron en favor de retirar al presidente y representante del Distrito 4 de la mesa ejecutiva de Denver Public Schools, Nate Easley por su conflicto de interés que resulto en una falta en su capacidad en representar a las familias del noreste de Denver en una manera independiente.

Easley está empleado como el subdirector de la Fundación de Becas de Denver cuyos miembros incluyen oficiales de las escuelas públicas de Denver (DPS), Theresa Pena y Tom Boasberg, que apoyen abiertamente el cerramiento de escuelas que han recibido pocos recursos para convertirlas a escuelas privadas (charter) como parte de la estrategia “turnaround” de DPS.

Ahora hay más gente que lo quieren fuera de oficina que los 4,500 que votaron para ponerlo en oficina. Apoyo para el retiro está particularmente fuerte en el área de Montbello así que muchas familias ya saben cómo se siente el impacto de cerrar escuelas y reducir la capacidad de escuelas. Muchos padres reportaron que sus hijos fueron puesto en una “lista de espera” de mas que una lista después de las loterías que tenían lugar para determinar la matriculación de estudiantes para el año académico 2011-2012. Padres expresaron su frustración y enojo por tener menos “opciones” ahora aunque llenaron las formas de matriculación muy a buen tiempo. Antes padres podían matricular a sus hijos en escuelas del barrio, y esas escuelas los aceptaron abiertamente sin que importara sus necesidades, dificultades o capacidades.
Ahora, familias enteras han sido rehusados de las escuelas chárter más selectivas. Familias están en pánico por conseguir opciones para sus hijos que tendrán que asistir varias escuelas por todo el noreste para matricular a sus hijos en escuelas que aceptaran a sus hijos. Es probable que cientos de niños vayan a estar desplazados y forzados a asistir escuelas fuera de sus barrios y además fuera del distrito en los condados de Adams y Arapahoe. También hay reportajes de que DPS y Easley no respondieron a llamadas de padres con preocupaciones.

“Hemos hablado con mas constituyentes de Nate Easley en los pasados 60 días – que es más de los con quienes ha comunicado durante sus 18 meses en oficina,” declaró John McBride.

Una coalición comunitaria de padres, abuelos, educadores y vecinos juntaron por dos meses para circular peticiones. McBride explicó que este grupo tan dedicado sin fondos ningunos de grupos políticos y fundaciones adineradas alcanzo a comunicar con miles de residentes, aunque un avalancha de dinero vino al lado de Easley de fundaciones adineradas para ayudarle en su lucha contra el retiro.

Otra cosa que escucharon los residentes es la gran cantidad de terminaciones de empleo que ocurrió durante la época de Easley. En los pasados 18 meses, Easley apoyaba la clausura de siete (7) escuelas públicas que dejo a más de 400 personas sin su trabajo sin sin ninguna evidencia de que los maestros eran inefectivos. “En esta economía tan difícil, nuestros oficiales elegidos no deben de estar en el negocio de poner más gente en desempleo, especialmente a los que trabajan cada día dedicados al servicio público como nuestros maestros,” declaró Mary Sam, una maestra jubilada y 8voluntaria para el retiro. Organizadores del retiro encontraron a muchos maestros que apoyaron privadamente el retiro porque tenían miedo de firmar la petición por el ambiente de intimidación que existe en DPS. Easley ha recibido más de $35.000 de contribuciones para su campaña de anti-retiro; pero, la mayor cantidad de fundadores viven fuera del distrito de Easley. Casi $20.000 de estos fondos vienen de miembros de la mesa directiva de la Fundación de Becas de Denver, los mismos que lo supervisan como empleo. Scott Reiman, Jack Kim, David Scanavino, Terry Leprino, Barbara Grogan y Steve Kris son fundadores y también empleadores de Easley. Un fundador, Wesley Brown, es codirector de St. Charles Capital con una colega de Easley en la mesa directiva de DPS, Bruce Hoyt, quien es apoyador de escuelas charter. También la corporación, Oakwood Homes, que desarrolla nuevos barrios en Montbello donó $5.000 para ayudar a Easley a luchar contra este esfuerzo de sus constituyentes.

Cuando se enteró de las contribuciones a Easley, un padre de noreste comentó, “Esto da mas fuerza a la creencia que “ya compraron” a Nate Easley los interés corporativos.”

Organizadores del retiro tendrán una conferencia para la prensa el martes 29, 2011 a las 3:30pm en frente del Denver Election Commission en 200 W. 14th Ave. Por las incertidudes de las listas de registración, organizadors sugeran que los firmadores que chequeen su estatus de registration de votante por hacer click al buton rojo “Register to Vote”

More than 5,000 support recall, press conference tomorrow

Over 5,000 Northeast Denver Residents Support the Recall of

DPS Board of Education President and District 4 Representative Nate Easley

Denver, CO – Over 5,000 Northeast Denver, Montbello and Green Valley Ranch residents signed their names in support of recalling DPS Board of Education President and District 4 Representative Nate Easley due to his conflict of interest resulting in his failure to independently and adequately represent Northeast families. Easley is employed as the deputy director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation whose board members include Denver Public Schools (DPS) officials Theresa Pena and Tom Boasberg, strong proponents of shutting down or phasing out under-resourced public schools and converting them into privatized charter schools as part of the DPS “turnaround” strategy. There are now more residents that want Easley out of office, than the approximately 4,500 people that voted to elect him.

Support for the recall was particularly strong in the Montbello-area since many of those families have already felt the impact of school closures and seat reductions.  Many parents reported that their children were “waitlisted” on more than one list after lotteries were held to determine enrollment placements for the 2011-2012 academic year. Parents expressed extreme frustration and even anger that they had fewer “choice” options now despite filling out enrollment forms early. Previously, parents could readily enroll their children into neighborhood schools, and those schools openly accepted them regardless of their needs, challenges and abilities. Now, entire families have been shut out of the smaller and more selective charter schools. Parents have been left scrambling to find options for siblings who will be dispersed across the Far Northeast area, searching for schools that will accept all of their children. Potentially, hundreds of children will be displaced and forced to attend schools outside of their neighborhoods and even outside of the District into neighboring Adams & Arapahoe counties. Parents also reported that their phone calls were not being returned from DPS representatives, including from Easley.

“We have talked to more of Nate Easley’s constituents in the past 60 days than he has talked to during his entire eighteen months in office,” stated recall spokesperson John McBride.  A volunteer grassroots coalition of parents, grandparents, educators, and neighbors joined together for nearly two months to gather the required signatures. McBride explained that the dedicated and unfunded group of diverse volunteers reached thousands of residents, despite the avalanche of money that poured into Easley’s bank account to help him fend off the recall.

Another sore point for residents was the high number of teacher firings that have occurred under Easley’s watch. In the past 18 months, Easley has supported the closure of seven public schools and was complicit in putting 400 teachers’ jobs in jeopardy when there was no objective evidence that the teachers were incompetent. “In this difficult economy, our elected officials should not be in the business of putting people out of work, especially dedicated and hard-working public servants like our public school teachers,” stated Mary Sam, a retired DPS teacher and recall volunteer. Recall organizers encountered many teachers who privately supported the recall, but who were too afraid to sign recall petitions due to the environment of fear and intimidation within DPS.

Easley has received over $35,000 in contributions to his recall campaign; however, almost none of the donors listed live in Easley’s district. Almost $20,000 of those contributions came from Denver Scholarship Fund board members, the very same people that ultimately oversee his employment at DSF.  Scott Reiman, Jack Kim, David Scanavino, Terry Leprino, Barbara Grogan and Steve Kris are all on the DSF Board. One donor, Wesley Brown, is a co-director of St. Charles Capital along with Easley’s school board colleague Bruce Hoyt, another proponent of charter schools. In addition, Montbello-area development corporation Oakwood Homes donated a hefty $5,000 to help Easley fight off his own constituents. When told about Nate’s big money contributions, one Northeast parent commented, “It certainly reinforces the growing belief that Nate Easley is ‘bought and paid for’ by corporate interests.”

Recall organizers will hold a press conference Tuesday as they prepare to submit and report their final signature tally on March 29, 2011 3:30pm in front of the Denver Election Commission office at 200 W. 14th Ave. Due to inconsistencies in the voter registration lists, recall organizers encourage signers to check their voter registration status by clicking on the red “Register to Vote” button at

District 4 residents scarce among Easley’s donors

When Nate Easley’s constituency says, “we’ve had enough,” who does he turn to? Why, rich donors outside of District 4, of course!

Nate has received over $35,000 in contributions to his recall campaign. Almost $20,000 of those contributions came from Denver Scholarship Fund board members, or the people that ultimately oversee his job.  Scott Reiman, Jack Kim, David Scanavino, Terry Leprino, Barbara Grogan and Steve Kris are all on the DSF Board.

One interesting donor, Wesley Brown, is a co-director of St. Charles Capital.  Know who else is a co-director of St. Charles Capital?  You guessed it.  Nate’s school board colleague, Bruce Hoyt.

And we see a nice $5,000 donation from everyone’s favorite gentrifier, Oakwood Homes, who even have a foundation that agitated for the blow-up of the Montbello-area schools. Payment for services rendered, apparently.

With the notable exception of three donors contributing a whopping $300 among them, almost none of the donors listed here live in Nate Easley’s district.

Easley's latest incoming donations

And expenditures?  Interestingly enough, most of his expenses are being paid to Victoria Scott-Haynes, wife of a former Denver Bronco, a former local Obama campaign consultant, and relative of Happy Haynes (director of community outreach at DPS).  Good to know that Boasberg’s networking with board members and families.

Good experience…we hear that Boasberg is sending Happy Haynes out into the public as a new candidate to replace Theresa Pena’s at-large school board seat.  Nice politicking, Boasberg!

Easley's campaign expenses

School board chief to be picketed

Contact: Lawrence Borom
Organization: Black Education Advisory Council (BEAC)


For Immediate Release: March 18, 2011.

Pickets will be out Saturday, March 19, at a reception for Dr. Nate Easely, Denver Board of Education Chairman, sponsored by The Foundation for Educational Excellence. The reception will be held at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, 4900 Himalaya Road, Denver, CO from 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

The picketing is intended to emphasize the campaign to recall Easely by a variety of educational advocacy organizations. BEAC, Northeast Community Congress on Education (NCCE), and DeFENSE are organizations that will participate in the picketing as well as northeast parents and residents.

Easely is accused of having a conflict of interest between his employment and service on the Denver Board of Education which has led to poor representation of School Board District 4, his home district. Also, the DPS district is moving ahead on a controversial “turn-around” plan which will have grave impacts on the students, parents, and community of Montbello and Far Northeast Denver.

Montbello teachers on the chopping block

Readers will no doubt recall that there has been a massive hostile takeover of six different schools in the greater Montbello area. For those that aren’t familiar, this is a neighborhood in Denver, traditionally predominantly African-American but now populated by large numbers of Latinos.

"Northeast" Nate Easley, a.k.a. Mr. Neighborhood Schools

Montbello High School will now be broken up into three different schools. The current high school, now dubbed “Legacy,” will phase out students one year at a time. The other two schools are a “high tech” school and a “college prep” school, all application only and only accepting one grade per year, starting with 9th graders in the fall. If students are not accepted into either of the new schools, they will have to find somewhere else to attend, and there are a finite number of seats available at the two new schools. The estimated number of displaced students under this scenario is around 1300 next fall.

The last time DPS tried this was at Manual High School, more than 200 students were lost in the system, either because they were not properly tracked to the receiving school or because they simply gave up and dropped out. The Denver Post’s Allison Sherry ran a great series of this diaspora, called the “Manual’s Missing Series.”

Article 1: Reaching out to dropouts
Article 2: Brothers juggling, slipping out of school
Article 3: One girl’s soap-opera mess
Article 4: Trying, failing to get teen to take wing

Now the transition process at Montbello High School, a very messy affair, has begun. This week, 40 teachers and the principal from the middle school were summarily given their pink slips. Meanwhile, because 50 percent of all teaching positions at Montbello High will be cut next year due to the restructuring, all teachers are being forced to interview for next year’s positions that will be left.

There is currently no indication from DPS about whether displaced teachers will be allowed to apply for positions at the new school.

We received a note from a parent involved in the personnel committee that’s overseeing the interview process at Montbello High School:

I just wanted to let all of you know what I have been through in the last couple of days and will be tomorrow. I was on the teacher interviewing committee up at Montbello HS. We were told that the parents did not have a say but were there just to observe. We knew that this didn’t sound right so we made some calls and tried to get some clarification, which of course didn’t come. The powers that be also were consulting legal.

This was quite humbling. You sit in this room around a table and hear teacher after teacher interview for their job, a job that they shouldn’t be interviewing for. Yes, there were tears in their eyes and some even started to cry. We interviewers had to stay completely straight-faced and say nothing at all; well, I couldn’t say anything anyway as my opinion didn’t count. This process drains you.

As I sat on the sofa this evening looking or reflecting back on the past 2 days, I started crying, as I am now. I realized that half the teachers that were interviewed by the team I was on will not have a job in about a week but they are required to continue to work until the end of the year.

This really sucks; there is no other word for it. They are all great teachers and people and don’t deserve this. Nate (Easley), Theresa (Pena), Bruce (Hoyt) and Mary (Seawell) should have to sit in on these interviews and see the sadness and the wondering if they will be the one cut. I really don’t know how they are going to finish out the year. I talked with several of my son’s teachers; some have already given notice so that they wouldn’t have to go through the process and others didn’t. They knew that the teachers at Noel (middle school) had already gone through this process and asked how things are up there. I told them that things are more than miserable, no one wants to be there, the kids know what has happened and they don’t want to be there. Families that didn’t understand what was happening now know what is happening.

This community is losing a lot and no one seems to really care or that’s what I am hearing. There are several things that I want to say about Nate, Theresa, Bruce, Mary and Tom (Boasberg) but it wouldn’t matter because they don’t have hearts.

While no one agrees that the schools were up to snuff, some of these schools were in the midst of federally-funded “turnaround” plans that were showing great progress. Some basic indicators, like skyrocketing student attendance and homework completion rates were telling the story. But the Board of Education ignored all the successful markers, including the improving CSAP scores, and have completely disrupted the community and demoralized students and teachers. They apparently do not believe in fixing what needs to be fixed; they only believe in wiping the slate clean, regardless of the cost to kids and teachers.

Nate Easley, employed as the deputy director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation, has shown his conflict of interest is sharp detail over and over. He has never once voted against the Superintendent’s harmful schemes, such as what has happened in greater Montbello. He has never raised issue with the ramifications of any of these changes on his own constituents and on the high school from which he graduated. And now comes the new report of financial contributions to his “Easley for Better Schools” campaign committee, showing substantial contributions from members of the DSF board. Apparently, they have a stake in whether he’s a member of the Denver Board of Education.

Look for the filing here, and look at the list of DSF board members here. We can only assume that these are well-meaning people from whom the truth is being kept.

On the flip side, keep your eye on the recall committee’s campaign finance report. The committee is called Take Back Our Schools, and their reports will be found here. The first is due March 3.

It is, indeed time to take back our schools. If you would like to help gather petitions to recall Nate Easley, call Mandy at 720-224-4125 or email her at