VAIL — From Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff, through Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards and down to Wolcott, Eagle, Gypsum and Dotsero, the Eagle County School district serves more than 6,500 students. The organization has 17 schools including public, charter and alternative schools, as well as a ski and snowboard prep academy.
Historically, Eagle County Schools has been a darling of education reform. For more than a decade, the schools have come in far ahead of the national curve on test-based accountability, educator evaluation, performance based compensation and school choice.
Yet, there is an achievement gap. And while the schools may be in line, or even ahead of the curve to national averages, there has been a drop in world-class prestige and results. That has led school officials seek a better and more effective path forward.
How We Can Do Better
The Vail Symposiums hosts Eagle County Schools Superintendent Jason Glass to explore and explain how the best school systems in the world have earned such a title, and what Eagle County Schools are doing to keep up. The event will be hosted at the Grand View in Vail on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m. The event is free and all are welcome to join.
“We are very glad to involve Dr. Glass with the Vail Symposium and be able to localize an issue as important as education reform,” said Tracey Flower, the Symposium’s executive director. “We hope the community can come out to learn from Dr. Glass, ask questions and discuss the future of our schools.”
Glass has studied successful school systems and measured Eagle County Schools against their success. He has also observed what makes them outstanding, therefore measuring not only results but the practices that have achieved those results.
New Plays in Practice
“Currently, we are focused on becoming world class by benchmarking against the approaches seen in high-performing global education systems,” Glass said. “Turning away from market-based, accountability-based, and any number of disconnected silver-bullet approaches commonly advanced in the United States, we are investing heavily in evidence-based strategies linked directly to improving the quality of instruction, along with wraparound school-based and community-based supports for students aimed at mitigating the effects of poverty on learning.”
Space is limited and the Symposium will do their best to accommodate all interested parties in attending, said Flower. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Glass will explore the successful school systems he has benchmarked as a standard achievable for local schools. He will also touch on unions, Eagle County Schools’ diversity of race and interests, and he will welcome questions and discussion with the audience.
“We work at keeping ideologically and politically driven agendas out of our schools,” Glass said. “Those agendas can’t imagine the intricacies and nuances in the relationship between educator, learner and content, and thus can’t effectively drive improvement. We believe that the best solutions are to be found through the collaboration of our local educators and leaders on the issues that confront our unique community.”
“We believe that the best solutions are to be found through the collaboration of our local educators and leaders on the issues that confront our unique community.”
Superintendent of Eagle County Schools