You’ve probably heard about him at this point: the 18-year-old high school graduate whose campaign for the Denver Public Schools Board of Education has gone national. His name is Tay Anderson, and he’s dangerous for Denver Public Schools. He’s uninformed, under the influence of national groups with specific agendas that don’t serve all students, and isn’t ready to be an elected leader in Denver, or anywhere outside of high school for that matter.
Tay Anderson, while I believe he is a good person who could one day be a strong political leader, isn’t ready to be a member of the DPS School Board. His reasons for running are wrong, he hasn’t yet formed his own ideas on education policy, and is too young to have the complete understanding necessary to represent nearly 20,000 of Denver’s Students.
Before I continue, I just want to be clear here: I’m a year younger than Tay, so don’t necessarily take everything I have to say as though I think I know more than him. But I do know Tay on a personal level; I almost managed his campaign before I thought more about his policies and everything I’m going to discuss here. I simply think he’s dangerous.
First, Tay’s reasons to run are odd. He was a member of the DPS Student Board of Education for the past 2 years, a board of which I am also a member. However, he did not show up to a single meeting of the board in the 2016-17 school year. So if he tries to claim he was a leader on that board, he isn’t telling the truth.
He did not show up to a single meeting of the board in the 2016-17 school year.
He, instead, tried to force his way onto the DPS school board by claiming that student voice is needed on the board. While I agree that the board doesn’t necessarily listen to student voice as much as they should, I don’t believe there should be students on the board, who would be chosen by a very select group of their peers, when this board is made up of people who were elected by their constituents to be there. A student could represent as a non-voting member, but Tay trying to claim he should be on the board as a regular member because he knows so much about being a student is wrong. Instead, he claims he is running because they wouldn’t let him on the board, and thus he holds a grudge against the board and wants to prove to them that he can win the race to get on the board. No one should run for office to prove a point. It’s wrong, and deceiving to one’s constituents. It means you don’t necessarily believe in everything you claim.
Tay is also too young and immature to be an elected representative of the board. He still uses his Facebook as both a campaign platform as well as his personal Facebook. So while looking for campaign information, you also get to learn about his romantic life. I will tell you now, I don’t want to learn about the personal lives of my elected officials. They are public figures, but not that public. This shows his immaturity, and why he can’t be trusted to act in professional ways as a board member. He also is still a teenager, and acts so. He has said odd things to friends of mine in interactions he has had with them, like how he has crushes on them, while he is claiming to be participating in campaign activity. This is simply outrageous. He claims to hate Trump, but acts so similarly to him on the campaign trail.
I’ve attacked Tay’s character enough. Let’s look at his policies.
Tay is what, in education, we call Anti Reform. This means he thinks we need to keep all of our traditional, neighborhood schools open, and just keep trying to replace parts of them, without closing them, restarting, or opening charter schools that have proven to perform better, especially in DPS. He has called for a moratorium on charter schools, and can’t iterate why. When I asked him dead on, he dodged the question.
To me, he’s upset because the high school he attended is one of the lowest performing schools in DPS, while just down the street, where I attend, a charter is one of the highest performing schools in the entire state of Colorado. He then tries to claim that we aren’t an equitable school. I’m sorry, but he doesn’t do his research. DSST: Cole, where I attend, has a student body that is 85% students of color, and 75% low-income. Is that inequitable Tay? I think not.
I’m sorry, but he doesn’t do his research
He takes these ideas about charter schools that come from national teacher’s unions about charter schools nationally. But charter schools are governed very differently in Colorado and in Denver than elsewhere in the U.S. They aren’t private schools, in any form. They can’t just “do as they please”. Tay doesn’t get this. So instead, he wants to kick charter schools out of district buildings and return to letting failing traditional schools fail more and more of Denver’s student. That’s why he dangerous. He’s going to let Denver’s schools fail when he could choose to help them succeed, all because a bunch of misinformed people far away from Denver told him that’s what he should believe, and gave him a bunch of money to believe it.
Tay’s not ready for this. He shouldn’t be on the DPS school board. I can confirm everything I’ve written here, if anyone was wondering. I think Tay should go to college, get a better understanding, and then I’ll be ready to look at him as a serious candidate.