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Wisdom from the Web

On the Vail Daily Web site, you can comment on each story or editorial you read there.Here, we publish excerpts of those comments:Re: Critic wants students to skip CSAPLet’s get one thing straight. The CSAP exam does not measure individual student progress like an achievement test would. That is why the ECSD uses the NWEA tests both fall and spring, as the NWEA is an individual achievement test. That is also why the TAP program awards bonuses based 25 percent on CSAP and 25 percent on NWEA scores. The teachers are aware of this and so is the Colorado Department of Education through its recommendation to not base merit awards on CSAP scores. The CSAP is a politically driven exam designed to show how a school, and district as a whole is performing based upon standards that are set low by the state, to make the state look like its students are making progress. The federal government requires each state to administer a state test and the results of these tests are used to determine Adequate Yearly Progress. The feds, realizing that this requirement encourages states to set the bar quite low, also require each state to have random students take the NAEP exam, which is a federal exam and is considered quite rigorous. In a study by the RAND Corp., a leading think tank from New York, researchers compared state reading scores with those on the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and found that, in many states, pass rates for fourth- and fifth-graders have little correlation with national standards. In this 2003 comparision of Colorado’s fourth-graders, 87 percent were proficient on the CSAP reading test. On the NAEP federal test, 37 percent of fourth graders were proficient.The CSAP is not an acievement test that shows the top level of achievement for individual students. The CSAP does not help teachers develop appropriate lessons for their class as the results are not returned until the following year. The CSAP is also dumbed down, as the RAND study showed. So, as I see it, the CSAP is administered for the benifit of the ECSD administrators, the benefit of the administrators of the Colorado State Department of Education, and the federal government – not for the benifit of our kids. Also, our principals and district office administrators receive substantial bonuses for increased CSAP scores. I smell a RAT! As a parent, I would much prefer that the ECSD use a true achievemnet test such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in place of the CSAP. For this information I would gladly have my child sit the test. As it stands now, my children will be skipping the CSAP and I will pay for them to take a true achievement test.Re: The state of the countyMenconi: Keep your hands and legislation off of my land. Keep your hands off my family. Don’t lecture me about what you consider “moral.” I didn’t vote for you, ever … . Stop overspending the county budget on your personal agenda items. If you’re looking to start a fight, picking on my family is the best way to start.Re: Swimming to State BridgeRegarding Lake Wolcott, Right on, Matt (Zalaznick). But who do you think will be able to use such a wondrous facility when access to the entire shoreline will be controlled by gated communities and the obscenely wealthy?Re: TipslineRegarding the photo of the boy who was unhappy about the b-ball game: just one more example – as if we needed it – of the vast insensitivity of the editors of the Vail Daily, where anyone’s private emotion becomes tabloid fodder of the most despicable, bottom-feeding variety.Re: Pleasant surpises and the same, ‘dead’ votersIt is people like Steve Katz that give Louisiana a terrible reputation. I’ve worked all over the country in politics and can tell you – and you Steve Katz – that Louisiana is no different than other states in their voting. Our voter registration system and file is one of the best in the country and deters voter fraud. In fact, the courts have determined through a lawsuit filed in a Senate race about 6 years ago that NO voter fraud existed in Orleans parish in that election even though it was alleged. So, Mr. Katz, please DO NOT come back to New Orleans and in the meantime keep your biased mouth shut about our state. …Re: Pleasant surpises and the same, ‘dead’ votersIf you do not believe that there is voter fraud in Orleans Parish, you are either an idiot or involved; maybe your just upset that you might not get your “walking around money” next election.And yes, I do live in Louisiana.Vail, Colorado


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