Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm not dead- and neither is reform!

June 1st is my last day as DCTA President. I will begin teaching ELA-S Kindergarten at the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA) in the fall. This new chapter in my life will be another challenge, and opportunity to move education reform by putting our money where our mouths are. As Al Shanker said, “Teachers are not going to give up their fight for professional dignity, and they’re not going to give up their fight for good schools.”

The school will start with kindergarten through second grade. It will be a teacher-led (a.k.a. no principal) DPS "Performance School" serving the Rishel community in Southwest Denver. Our school will:
  • focus on math and science,
  • infuse technology,
  • incorporate service learning,
  • have an extended school day and early release on Wednesdays,
  • implement peer assistance and review,
  • start with 130 students,
  • promote leadership amongst students, parents, and teachers,
  • share a building with Rishel MS and KIPP HS,
  • have SMALL class sizes! (20 max in kinder!!), and
  • prepare our students to compete in a global society

I will continue to Co-Chair the DPS/DCTA Professional Practices Work Group that is focusing on creating systems for induction, mentoring, remediation, evaluation and dismissal. Also, I will continue to represent teachers on various state and national committees within DCTA/CEA/NEA, and on the NBPTS Board of Directors.

On a personal note... my twins will also be attending MSLA in second grade (I'm pulling them out of Sandoval). The girls will be in 5th grade at Sandoval, and 8th grade at DCIS next year. We will take our first family vacation to Florida in many years. You know it's bad when your son didn't realize that you can actually swim in the ocean... ouch! Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes over the past few months.

Rest assured, you haven't heard the last of Kim Ursetta! ;)


  1. Kim: You're great! I have no doubt that you will continue to do amazing work in Denver. You know, when one door opens...

    I am sad to go but I am constantly inspired by you and Melissa. So who knows, I may be headed to grad school in Ed. Policy in another year! We may get to work together again someday.

    I love you, I love your kids, and I thank you for getting me involved in the reform work that we did through DCTA. I think that MSLA will be better with you there as a teacher leader. Keep working at the peer assistance and review and reforming the mentoring and induction process. That's going to be key to improving teaching and learning.

    Thanks again, friend. You're an inspiration!


  2. Congratulations, Ms. Ursatta, on your teacher-led school! I have been wondering how long it would take for teachers to realize that THEY can be the leaders in an educational reform movement. To me this represents real reform because teachers are the people who are in the classrooms and know what our students need.

    I have written to national union leaders to encourage them to start union-organized schools but have never received a reply from anyone. I'm sure your words would hold much more weight. Please encourage other teachers to follow in your footsteps. Your school represents a significant step forward in education. As teachers become decision-makers, more top graduates will be attracted to the profession! Thanks for what you have done for teachers and children.