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Daily Staff Writer

By the numbersThe newly released 2004 CSAP scores are interesting. My curiosity was piqued by Scott Miller’s article on Dec. 9 and the apparent improvement our schools seem to be making. I encourage you to visit the Denver Post Web site to find the actual scores for each school in our district in reading, writing and math. The CSAP grades students at four levels, unsatisfactory, partially proficient, proficient and advanced. I looked at the percent of students performing below the proficient level in math, writing, reading at the fifth-, eighth- and 10th grade level, and I’m sharing the ECSD’s average scores. At the fifth-grade level, 43 percent of the district’s children are not proficient in math, 37 percent are not proficient in reading, and 47 percent of the fifth-graders are not proficient in writing. Moving on to the eighth grade, one discovers that 52 percent of the district’s students are not proficient in math, 29 percent are not proficient in reading and 42 percent are not proficient in writing. Finally, the 10th-graders scored as follows: A whopping 67 percent of the 10th-graders are not proficient in math, 37 percent are not proficient in reading, and 49 percent are not proficient in writing. I’m curious as to how our schools can be graded as one low, seven average, seven high and one excellent and have scores as dismal as this. …TAP’s tollIf you don’t think TAP has taken a toll on the quality of education in the ECSD, look at the school’s report card. Two elementary schools went from high ratings in 2003 to an average rating in 2004. Same with the high schools. Only one went from average to high. The teachers are not allowed enough time in the classroom giving quality education. They have to collaborate. TAP will not go away easy. The school board and school’s superintendent sold their souls to the devil, the Milliken family foundation, for this program at a cost of about $2 million per year. The school district has to pay this amount whether they use this program or not until their contract with the Milliken family foundation expires. How long will that be and what will the cost be to our children? …Winter prepIt’s wintertime again in the Vail Valley. Snow-covered roads, ice, hazardous driving. You know, one would think the smart thing to do would be to winterize your car. Maybe put your snow tires on, possibly change your windshield fluid out so you can keep your windshield clean and actually see what’s going on ahead of you. Well, some of these people that have lived in this valley for who knows how long, but you wouldn’t think that putting on wide tires and 20-inch rims would help your car go any better in the snow, would you? Well, it doesn’t. For all of those of you out there that still have your summer tires on that are sticking out 12 inches past your wheel wells, the smart thing to do would probably be get some snow-studded tires. …Vail, Colorado

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