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Report cards show consistency

Eben Harrell

It might not come as a surprise, but the academically struggling Carbondale Elementary School does not perform well compared to other elementary schools in the valley.That was one of the announcements made yesterday as the state Department of Education released its annual report cards on local schools. The annual assessments compare schools in a geographical area based on results from the previous year’s Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests.The report cards are separate from the national No Child Left Behind Act, which enforces penalties for poor performance. Unlike the federal guidelines, the state report cards are a measuring tool only, an indication of how schools stack up academically against their neighbors.Carbondale Elementary School rated low when compared to schools around the valley. The school rated low despite the fact that scores did not include tests taken by Spanish-speaking students who have matriculated at Carbondale Elementary School for less than three years. It was yet another public setback for the elementary school. Poor performance on CSAP tests over the last three years have placed the school on probationary status under No Child Left Behind. Should the school fail to improve significantly this year, the district must issue a restructuring plan that would overhaul the school.”We’re probably just lucky to have still stayed low, to be honest,” Roaring Fork School District assistant superintendent Judy Haptonstall said. “But next year is what’s critical. It’s going to be a whole different deal. We’re going to be awesome.”Scores showed little movement from the previous year at other schools around the valley, with all scoring average or higher.In the Aspen School District, the elementary and middle schools rated high. The middle school and high school received ratings of excellent. And the Aspen Community School rated high. Aspen’s schools were rated the same as last year, except for the high school, which missed the excellent rating in 2003 by a fraction of a point, according to district Superintendent Diana Sirko.”We’re very pleased to have attained consistently high results,” Sirko said. “Obviously our goal is to be rated excellent at every school level. But I think the results are a nice validation of our curriculum and the effort of our teachers.”Scores at other schools in the Roaring Fork School District, which stretches from Basalt to Glenwood Springs, were consistent with last year, except for Carbondale Community School. At the community school, elementary scores rose from average to high and middle school scores dropped from high to average. Bridges High School, a nontraditional school of around 70 students in Glenwood, improved its rating from average to high.Basalt Elementary, Basalt Middle (fifth and sixth grade), Carbondale Middle, Carbondale Community (seventh and eighth grade), Roaring Fork High, Glenwood Elementary and Glenwood Middle schools received average ratings.Basalt Middle (seventh and eighth grade), Basalt High, Sopris Elementary, Glenwood Springs High and Bridges High received ratings of high.”On the whole, it looks pretty darn good,” Haptonstall said. “We’re focused on improving despite continuing challenges in our district.”Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com


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