Dear Editor:Regarding Montessori, a few points need to be clarified:The district has withheld $300,000-$500,000 from district funds. Though this is a per-pupil amount that follows the students to whichever public school they attend, the fact remains that these funds will be drained from CES and RE-1 teachers when these students leave. The mill levy was not designed to replace existing funds, but rather to build upon the salaries we have.Montessori has suggested that they cannot work under the constraints of the corrective action plan. In fact, these teachers have offered absolutely no written or verbal plans to improve their reading and math scores while using Montessori (or any other) teaching methods. The CSAPs taken this spring will offer no reflection of effort on the part of Montessori for the entire last school year, as they have refused to participate in actively improving their students’ abilities to meet this challenge. Their inaction not only lacks educational responsibility toward their own students, but also threatens the status of the entire school. Since Montessori scores are a large part of CES’ failure, it is interesting that these teachers and parents choose to create a failure situation but opt to not take responsibility for it. Charter schools are subjected to CSAPs. Should Montessori scores continue on the path they have held for these past few years this charter also threatens the status of our town with the stigma of another failing school.It has been reported in the local papers that Latino Montessori parents have not been asked to join the charter effort. The steering committee claims that they will “attempt” to have a 30 percent Latino population in the charter while the Carbondale school population is actually 60 percent and extrapolated census counts indicate our town is 40-45 percent. In other words, they will not reflect nor do they feel the need to reflect the demographics of our public schools. Their choice to stay “public” as opposed to private is a way for the charter to still receive RE-1 public money (our tax dollars) for a private philosophy while under the ruse of an inaccurate demographic split. As far as the claim that they are not “fleeing” Carbondale schools, this charter committee originally approached the Aspen School District with their application and were denied consideration before formal papers were even filed.Montessori parents fund-raised for some of their supplies their first several years. The RE-1 school district, however, has been funding Montessori supplies to the tune of $44,911 to date.Active parents and quality teachers work toward what is best for students, schools and community no matter what the philosophy. They teach tolerance and communication to children by example. Just think what the energy of these involved parents and teachers would produce if they worked for the good of the whole, as well as with their awesome new principal, to bring CES back to its prime level of a few years ago.Denise MossCarbondale
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