A Petrie Dish of Cynicism

Get this. Over the past four years a Denver-based health care provider settled (without admitting any wrongdoing) three whistle blower lawsuits with the federal government for $961 million. The cases involved defrauding the federal Medicare program ($495 million), double billing the government ($55 million), and engaging in a kick-back scheme for patient referrals. ($411 million). This same company underwrote a Denver Public Schools “pep rally” of sorts in 2012 where, using some of the company’s cultural training techniques, the six core DPS values were determined.  Not surprisingly the DPS’ core values look remarkably similar to this company’s core values . And since relocating its headquarters to Denver, the CEO of said company and his wife have contributed $33,000 to four “reform” school board candidates in 2013 (10K to Barbara O’Brien, Mike Johnson, Landri Taylor, 3K to Rosemary Rodriguez) and $61,000 to three “reform” candidates in 2011 ($25K to Happy Haynes and Anne Rowe, 11K to Jennifer Draper Carson). I try not to be overly cynical, which given the state of public education in the United States is often challenging, but when I saw the invitation below, I could no longer contain my cynicism regarding this alliance. It turns out this corporation with core values such as INTEGRITY and ACCOUNTABILITY is COLLABORATING once again with the Denver Public Schools for some FUN, this time to honor those who have a shared value and vision.  The company and CEO having such access to Denver Public Schools?  DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. and its CEO Kent Thiry.


Join Us For The

Night of Honor

A DPS celebration honoring those who are paving the way and going

above and beyond in helping reach our vision, Every Child Succeeds.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

DaVita Healthcare World Headquarters 2000 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202

Cocktail Reception 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Awards Banquet & Dinner 6:30 to 10:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by June 2 by clicking here. Elegant or Semi-Formal Attire

More information about the event to follow.
Contact Our_DPSValues@dpsk12.org if you have any questions.

It was August 2, 2012, according to the DPS website,  when a thousand Denver Public Schools employees, Superintendent Tom Boasberg, and teams from DPS and DaVita gathered “to celebrate our work, to share our personal connections to the mission that binds us, and to collectively choose the shared core values that are the foundation for everything we do together in educating our kids.”  This was the day when the six core DPS values were selected.  You know – the ones that that appear at the bottom of almost every DPS communiqué

Students First:  We put our kids’ needs at the forefront of everything we do.

Integrity:  We tell the truth, and we keep our promises.

Equity:  We celebrate our diversity and will provide the necessary resources and supports to eliminate barriers to success and foster a more equitable future for all our kids.

Collaboration:  Together as a team, we think, we work, and we create in order to reach our goals.

Accountability:  We take responsibility for our individual and collective commitments; we grow from success; we learn from failure.

Fun:  We celebrate the joy in our work and foster in our students a joy and passion for learning to last their whole lives.

(I could write a whole cynical post on these six values, but not today. Today I am limiting my remarks to the alliance between Denver Public Schools and DaVita HealthCare Partners.)

So, $961 million in payouts for questionable activities from a company that supported an event to establish and define the core values of a public school district, one of which is INTEGRITY. Close to $100,000 in contributions to elect “reform” school board members. And then an email invitation to and from “Our DPS Values” inviting people on June 10, 2015, to a celebration “honoring those who are paving the way…in helping reach our (my italics) vision.”

How much influence does this corporation actually have within Denver Public Schools? Why is a public institution allowing a private corporation to determine its values? Isn’t this an example of taking privatization within “education reform” too far?  Just askin’

UPDATE:  On April 14, 2015, Strive Prep held its annual community breakfast.  Who was the main sponsor?

“STRIVE Prep is deeply grateful to the Thiry-O’Leary Foundation for serving as our Premier Sponsor, and for the ongoing investment of DaVita HealthCare Partners.”

STRIVE PREP is one of the “neighborhood school” options being offered to residents of Northwest Denver.

2 thoughts on “A Petrie Dish of Cynicism

  1. I cannot begin to tell you how I feel about this the core values just went up on the walls at the Acoma Campus last week It is really indoctrination.


    Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2015 17:54:30 +0000 To: wgrantfam@msn.com


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