Local schools get report cards | VailDaily.com

Local schools get report cards

Scott N. Miller
Graphic by Dawn Beacon
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EAGLE COUNTY – Toni Boush is one happy principal.Boush said she was thrilled to see Minturn Middle School’s state-issued report card tracking its students’ progress on the Colorado Student Assessment Program, or CSAP, tests.Minturn’s performance was rated as “high,” an improvement from the previous year’s “average” score.Boush and her staff were especially pleased with the state report because the school failed to meet its federal “Adequate Yearly Progress” targets. The school hit most of those federal benchmarks, but ultimately fell short because too few students in two groups – “limited English proficiency” and “economically disadvantaged” – participated in standardized testing.”We’re very excited we’re high this year,” Boush said. “Minturn hasn’t shown a lot of growth historically, and we’re glad to see it.”The story is different at Gypsum Elementary School, where the school’s ranking fell from “high” to “average.””Mostly, it’s a different group of kids,” principal Mitch Forsberg said.A lot of information comes to school administrators as part of the report, and Forsberg said there’s good news in it.”There are a lot of good trends I’m looking at,” Forsberg said. “When I saw ‘average’ on the report, my first response was ‘Based on what?'”And there is some context missing from this year’s reports.Reports in previous years have listed a school’s performance, ranging from “excellent” to “unsatisfactory,” as well as its progress from the previous years. For instance, last year’s report for Gypsum Elementary was “high, with significant improvement.”This year’s reports don’t have those qualifiers.The reason is the state is modifying the way student growth is measured, said Jan Petro of the Colorado Department of Education. While next year’s reports won’t necessarily measure student growth the same way, “There will be some measure of progress,” Petro said.And a school’s reports can rise or fall from year to year, depending on the kids taking the tests. Boush knows her school’s rating might drop next year, although she fervently hopes it doesn’t, she said. “If we do drop, I’m still confident in what we’re doing here,” she said. “We’ve got some great learning going on here.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 613, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado