Colorado educator wins election over big-money “reformer”


by Colleen Flaherty

Sometimes good ideas and passionate people really can win elections against candidates who cater to their big-money donors first and students second.

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Val Flores—a long-time educator  with 43 years of experience in public education—won in the Democratic primary for the Colorado State Board of Education District 1 seat recently, despite running against a candidate who raised more money and received corporate endorsements.

“We have a large amount of work to do to bring our public school system up to the levels of excellence necessary for the twenty first century,” said Flores. “We can get there by studying and applying the best practices available, by including our communities in the conversation about the education process, and by holding true to the values of a free public education system for all.”

Flores ran against Taggert Hansen, a candidate endorsed by so-called education “reformers” who have been pushing for policies that undermine public schools. Hansen received significant contributions from Education Reform Now, an organization funded by the Walton Family Foundation, one of many corporations funding legislative efforts to privatize education.

“In the past 10 years, right here in Denver, in Jefferson County, in Arapahoe, and in Douglas County, we have steadily undermined this beacon of equity – public schools,” said Flores.

However, with the results of this election, it’s clear that Colorado residents are speaking out against these so-called “reforms” and support investing in education.

valCrop-295x300I oppose big money and corporatization in our public education system. I oppose high stakes testing that takes away
valuable classroom learning time. I oppose a ‘reform’ model that is slowly privatizing our public education system. We cannot allow free public education to be traded on NASDAQ and sold to the highest bidder.

Flores attributed her victory to her enthusiastic supporters and numerous campaign volunteers.

“This is a true grassroots victory and proof that big money doesn’t vote.”

Reader Comments

  1. My hopes are: 1- that the citizens of Florida who truly care about the future of our public schools join me in voting the “bought-and-paid-for” politicians out of office this November, 2-that we abolish all of the unnecessary and discriminatory testing and 3- that we remplace the self-service puppets with representativas who will support us, the teachers, and public education.

  2. Congrats to Ms. Flores, We have a former educator in Michigan running a grassroots campaign against the current chair of the Mi. House Education Committee [a champion for all the bad education reforms in Mi.]. If you’re in Michigan lend Lynn Mason your support. Check her website

  3. This is what must happen in OK to save our public schools from the Kochs, Waltons, Greens and the Republicans.

  4. I am so glad to see someone willing to stand up for our children. We pretend that we love them but what will we say to them, when they ask us where were we when they needed us. We are allowing the people we elected, to vote against our precious resources, why. More in my book, Enough is Enough. ..Coming August 1 on my website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Kindle. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
    Morris (former school administrator and child advocate)

  5. Yay, the wheels are finally turning. We need someone like this to step up in Arizona! The education system here is in a shambles, our legislative “leaders” are an embarrassment. Please, someone come save us!

    1. It will take passionate people organizing themselves together to stand up for adequate funding of our public schools! Stand against privatization, charter schools or any corporate take over of the education of our children! Support your local union and the NEA, together we can have a collective voice!

  6. Good for the residents of Colorado – they know what the real motives of these two candidates are. And…their votes will only help the children and teachers of Colorado. Best of luck to Ms. Flores.

  7. The bottom line of education is a productive, functional society, not a profit. Has the greed gone so deep that we’re willing to sacrifice the future of our country for economic gain now?

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