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Summit Schools – another miss

As the Summit Daily News reported on 10/18, the “Summit County Schools don’t hit FAILED their  “adequate yearly progress (AYP) ” goals. It’s a good thing the State of Colorado tracks this stuff, because with all the excuses  and finger pointing proffered by the school district, would the citizens of Summit County every know that they are being hoodwinked?

 

Not sure I understand everything in the article nor I am sure that it is 100% accurate from a reporting perspective, but let’s look at the some of the details in this article.

 

1. In Paragraph 1 the district notes that despite FAILING AYP, “progress” has been made. Great! Sounds like they FAILED in fewer areas than before.

 

2. Paragraph 3 – “met 89 of 101” targets which is “not up to par” – 88% of targets met is pretty good and “above average” in my mind. However, the state says “not up to par”? What does that mean exactly? Is that the best language the state uses to describe 88%. Or, do they use the word “fail” or “inadequate”. Sounds like slopping reporting or whitewash to me.

 

3. Paragraph 4 – “district not meeting AYP means that at least one school didn’t make the grade”….”problem areas are with a high population of socio-economically disadvantaged” – this is where the blame game starts. It’s set’s up the reader to expect that “socio-economically disadvantaged” students are not capable of learning or that they are the reason the school district did not meet AYP.

 

4. Paragraph 5 – “…elementary and high school students did not meet AYP” – more blame, this time on elementary and high school students. It is NOT the school district’s fault if the students don’t meet the standards.

 

5. Paragraph 7 – “…problem areas were minority subsets” – more blame.

 

6. Paragraph 10 – “62% of Colorado Schools made AYP” – That puts the Summit School District in the bottom 40% of Colorado Schools when it comes to making AYP.

 

7. Paragraphs 12-14 – Basically this is just more of the same rhetoric focused on blaming hispanic students, ELL learners, the poor, immigrants, etc.

 

8. Paragraph 16 – “The goal is for every student to access and learn the same curriculum at the same time.” – Let me rephrase this for you – “Advanced learners will be held back, their progress will be slowed so as to allow the slow learners to catch up”. Citizens of Summit County, parents of children in the Summit County School District, Summit County Taxpayers….DO YOU GET THE POWER OF THIS STATEMENT from our administration? Do you realize that IB discourages the seperation of students based on ability levels?

 

9. Paragraph 17 – “The district continues to hold high expectations for all of our students…we know that through classroom instruction that models best practices and continues to focus on differentiating to meet the needs of every student, we will continue to see great progress and achievement in all academic areas.” – Millie must have been looking at a chart showing teacher pay raises over the last 3 years when she wrote this garbage about “great progress”. After looking at the AYP scorecard, it leaves me wondering when those “best practices” will make their way into the Summit School District.

 

I wish I had time to parse through the rest of the article. So let me finish by saying that the citizens of Summit County need to hold our school district to higher standards. It is not enough to throw money at the problem when it should be clear that having that money in the past has not produced the results that we as a community deserve. Furthermore, blaming our students for not meeting state standards is an unacceptable position to take on the part of our administration.

“Giving up” on kids in Summit County

Jennifer and Shawn McAtamney think Summit County taxpayers who vote “no” on 3B are “giving up” on our kids. This is the latest attempt at shaming people into voting yes on 3B. After all, who among us Summit County taxpayers wants to be labeled as a quitter? It’s hard to find a more cliché ridden letter to the editor this tax season….”recruit and retain high quality teachers” – maybe some of them are planning on leaving for all those other open teaching positions around the state and country?;  “maintain instructional programs” – perhaps we should eliminate some instructional programs? Can anyone say IB? “tools they need to compete in the global economy” – our district has trouble meeting state expectations for improvement, maybe we should be more concerned with that?

Voting “no” on 3B is not giving up on your kids.