Details wanted on how test scoreswill be improved before voting yes Nov. 2
In preparation for our vote on the school issues Nov. 2, I’ve been collecting some information on Summit County schools. On the schools’ Web site (http://summit.k12.co.us), there is a “School Improvement Plan.” Goal No. 1 is “Summit School District will deliver a rigorous academic program in which 85 percent of students will achieve at or above proficiency on all CSAP-assessed subjects.”The 2002 CSAP results are provided on the site, although they are difficult to find, and some of the slides seem to be mislabeled. One of the slides indicates that, in 2000, 39 percent of the eighth-graders were at or above math proficiency. In 2002, those eighth-graders were 10th-graders. In 2002, 27 percent of the 10th-graders hit the proficiency mark.Is this downward slide correct? Getting these numbers up to 85 percent will be quite a challenge.While an argument can be made that CSAP test results are not the best predictors of future success, and that the tests may not properly measure what the students are learning, it is the only quantitative metric that we have at this point. And it’s reasonable to say that when a large number of the students are deemed not proficient in core subject(s), we’ve got a serious problem. What specific actions has the district taken in the last two years since these poor scores were published? Is there a system in place to monitor improvements? What are the interim results?I also noticed on the Web site that the county scores are constantly compared with the state averages, which of course, make the data look better. The goal is excellence, not mediocrity. If comparisons are to be made, make them to the highest-performing district in the state – that’s where we need to be.To vote yes on the upcoming bond issue, and the building and technology mill levy, I want simple and concrete explanations on how these extra taxes will help improve reading, writing and math skills.
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