After putting its political weight behind then DPS board candidate Andrea Merida four years ago, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association is now backing one of Merida’s opponents in southwest Denver — union organizer Rosario deBaca.
The DCTA political action committee recommended deBaca this week after interviewing all announced candidates for the seat. Former City Councilwoman Rosemary Rodriguez is also vying for the southwest Denver seat on the seven member board.
The DCTA said deBaca best demonstrated its core values of working to accomplish student success through promoting excellent educators, shared accountability and 21st century skills through her work as a community organizer and an involved DPS parent.
Before the endorsement was officially announced, Merida provided her own take on the union’s change of heart.
“It’s clear that this decision is in retaliation for my vote to support the termination of the ineffective teachers among the more than 200 probationary teachers terminated just three weeks ago,” Merida said in a statement. “It unfortunately is an action that does not reflect the work of thousands of good teachers in Denver Public Schools, and underscores why DCTA’s leadership represents one of the most substantial barriers to real and meaningful reform in Denver and fulfilling the promise of so many Denver children and families.”
The DCTA said it appreciated Merida’s “passionate pursuit of equity for all students” but said her actions over the past four years “have hurt her effectiveness in accomplishing our values as well as the causes she states she believes in.”
The actions cited include poor judgment in collaboration with stakeholders; a determination that groups of teachers are ineffective without taking the time to access individual performance; a disregard for her own accountability on expenditures, and the perpetuation of divisive rhetoric.