Editorial: Stuck in the middle with CSAP | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Stuck in the middle with CSAP

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

TAP or no, student test scores show little progress in Eagle County, reflecting the picture across the state.

You can take some solace, see some silver around those dark clouds of gloom, from the fact that the district scores have held up in the face of white flight and ever-increasing enrollment of kids who don’t speak English at home.

The problem extends across the entire state, according to the Colorado Student Assessment Program results released last week.

Defeat crossed the brows of educators from the state schools chief, who sighed deeply before speaking publicly about this year’s scores, to local administrators who had an all-day meeting that day and couldn’t seem to find a phone to return multiple calls from the paper.

Eagle County has never had a golden age for education, as some critics of the Teacher Achievement Program like to say. The public school district is today as it has always been ” average in a state that scores average nationally. You might choose other words that would be accurate. Mediocre. Frustrated.

The results do not appear to be an indictment of the TAP program locally, although certainly the initiative has not proved to be any lifesaver, not yet anyway. The program has a year, maybe two, yet before it can be fairly judged.

The best that can be said is that the merit-based system has neither hurt nor especially helped the district scores in comparison to the rest of the state.

Colorado and Eagle County’s educational problems look deeper than that, at least judging by the CSAPs.

Whatever the flaws in CSAP, it is 11 years old. The tests offer a baseline over enough years to be a reliable indicator of student progress, or lack thereof.

The system is stuck. Which is another way of saying Colorado’s education system offers fertile ground for reform.

” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board

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