How is our Public School District Performing? We really can’t tell…

by – we read the TCAP numbers

A reasonable person cannot tell just how well our Eagle County Public School District is performing.

The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program replaced the Colorado Student Assessment Program this past Spring as educators and students transitioned to new state academic standard, simply put this years TCAP scores replaced last years CSAP.EC-School-District-New

The problem today is how the data is deliberately reported.  Here are the State wide 2012 results from Colorado’s Department of Education (Click Here).  Until now this information was withheld from local parents – it never was printed (the web link) in the Daily Fishwrap’s story last week.  Shame on the Fishwrap.

Are Colorado’s State wide Public School Districts ranked – top to bottom?  Ranked at all?

No.

Are Students test scores categorized as…

Poor, Fair, Average, Above Average, Exceptional?

No.

They’re categorized as…

Unsatisfactory, Proficient, Advanced, Proficient & Advanced

by Grade, by Subject, by Gender, by Race, and by those who qualify for a ‘free lunch’ – literally…

Local Parents can’t tell (for sure) just how good a Public School Education their kids are getting till – their kids apply for their first job after graduating High School or apply to top Ranked Colleges…

The ECT’s – Analysis and Explanation:

1.)  Colorado’s Department of Education (and your local School Board) has little interest in publically ranking (top to bottom) all of Colorado’s Public School Districts.  They have no desire to deal with the screaming/outraged phone calls from taxpaying Parents – all wanting to know why the School District their child is in – is ranked so poorly.  Ditto for the Public School Teachers Union – they’d just as soon pass on those same outraged phone calls as well.  Bottom Line:  Withhold easy to understand District Rankings (as well as easier to understand categories) that will prevent unwanted phone calls and bad PR from the local news media.

2.)  So what does Colorado’s Department of Education do about all this?  They don’t report this easier to understand information and instead publish extremely “granulized” data that allows ANY Public School District to report/claim something like this….

“Gee we’re doing just great!!!  3rd grade females of non-Hispanic heritage who don’t qualify for our Free School Lunch program…have improved their Writing skills in your School District by 2% over last years scores – in the Proficient category, only.”  Wow.

Obviously, every single School District in Colorado can find (something? somewhere?) in all those stats that “suggests” “gee…we’re really educating well in…”

ECT believes this kind of reporting is done deliberately for the reason stated in the above paragraph.

This kind of School District reporting reminds the ECT of the person who asked his School District “what time it was” and the District responded by telling them they need to pay more property taxes so the District could offer a new course in “how to build a watch”.

Sadly, there is little reason to believe Colorado’s Public School system will improve much as today’s Education Administrators (and Unions) are 100% caught up in this massive Bureaucratic/Administrative (somewhat Unionized) Property Tax funded morass.  As are other States.

The solution is simple, albeit an imperfect one.

A Colorado State wide Public School Voucher system – that puts the control of your child’s Education 100% into the hands of the folks who care the most – the Parents.  Since 2010’s midterm elections 14 States have introduced or expanded School vouchers (Click Here)  The ECT supports a system where Teachers (and Administrators) are paid based on performance in a competitive market.

When Public School’s have to compete for Students – the quality of Public School Education will improve – State wide.  Same as in any other Private Sector market competitive business.

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2 responses

  1. Thank you Clayton-to put testing results in perspective for parents – here is our average public and private HS graduates ACT scores, and the average admitted student ACT scores for CU Denver , CU Boulder, and School of Mines, as well as the Marine/Navy ROTC programs..

    Please do a followup story-in particular on ACT test scores and the fact that now ACT can administer “Career test for kindergarteners…” if schools want to test 5 year old children (Kindergartners) for “academic and behavioral skills/will target students starting in kindergarten-ACT (organization that developed the ACT college-entrance exam) will start testing the tool in the fall – to track students’ career interests, academic performance… designed to follow students from kindergarten through high school… goal is to identify and address gaps in skills needed for college and the workforce.” Announced July 2, 2012, and I have the links.

    Here is our College entrance/military entrance ACT composite scores from the just-graduated HS students.

    *** PUBLIC ***
    Eagle Valley High School
    * 2011 ACT Composite Score >> 19.0

    Battle Mountain High School
    * 2011 ACT Composite Score >> 19.0

    *** PRIVATE ***
    Vail Christian High School
    * 2011 ACT Composite Score >> 23.4

    Vail Mountain school
    * 2011 ACT Composite Score >> 27.0
    ———————————————————

    CU Denver, Admissions:
    * Average ACT Composite Score >> 20 / 25

    CU Boulder, Admissions:
    * Average ACT Composite Score >> 24 / 28

    Colorado School of Mines, Admissions:
    * Average ACT Composite score >> 29

    NAVY/MARINE ROTC Program Admission
    * ACT score: Math ACT 21 and >> English ACT 22
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Colorado Department of Education comparison / District EAGLE COUNTY RE 50
    * Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

    EAGLE SCHOOLS >>>>>>>>>>> Points earned > 20.4
    COLORADO State >>>>>>>> >>> Points earned > 26.25

    Available points to earn >>>>>>>>>>>>>> 35.00

  2. (Re a PRIVATE, not Public Charter school here…) “Stone Creek designs and implements its own curriculum separate from the school district’s”
    ——————————–

    August 16, 2012
    The local independent charter school’s test scores soared above the state average, the school’s administrators say.

    Stone Creek Charter School’s test scores saw several of grades score 100 percent proficient or advanced in reading and math, and several other grades topping 90 percent across most subject areas in statewide testing.

    “We are extremely pleased with the TCAP results,” said Stone Creek Charter headmaster John Brendza (the previous ECSD Superintendent)

    The school is expanding to the western end of the valley, opening a campus in Gypsum this fall. So far, enrollment is going briskly, Brendza said.

    “This is an exciting opportunity for us to offer the first school of choice in Western Eagle County,” Brendza said.

    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20120816/NEWS/120819885/1078&ParentProfile=1062

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