Zimet not afraid to address Aspen School District’s problems | AspenTimes.com

Zimet not afraid to address Aspen School District’s problems

I have known Dr. Suzy Zimet since 1999 when our children attended Aspen public schools together. She has always been an involved participant in her children's education and was part of the group who revived the dormant District Accountability Committee, a parent/teacher/administrator group that looks at measures of student learning and makes recommendations to the school board and administration.

Through this process, she became well-versed in our school board governance and how the district can continue to improve. During her recent second round of membership in the DAC, she became alarmed about how the Colorado Department of Education ranks our students' progress, and feedback from surveys of former students about how well prepared they were for college work.

School data surely doesn't tell an entire story. There are other issues such as whether students are treated with respect and caring, and whether teachers have professional development to nurture their careers. However, it doesn't help our children to simply say data on the website is wrong and misguided. We need to understand what happened when our elementary school goes from being consistently top-ranked to the status of "needs improvement."

The Colorado Department of Education stands by the validity of its rankings which are measures of what our children know. If other schools can produce consistently high level results, we should be able to as well. The apparent defensiveness of some administration and board members does not reflect the open inquisitive stance that we would expect from our leaders. We want to understand in order to improve, not simply to bury inconvenient facts and proceed as we were. Continuous development is the hallmark of a good educational system and requires the capacity for reflection and course correction.

Please cast your vote for Dr. Susan Zimet who has put in long hours working on two DAC committees and understands how our system works and how it can be improved. She is a informed voice of positive change.

Laurie Michaels

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