With education playing an important role in the midterm elections, we are happy to share some good news on the local front. Cumulative test scores from all schools show Durango School District 9-R ranked in the top 20% of all districts in Colorado. Now that’s something to celebrate. And that’s a reason to believe in – and support – our local public schools.
Results from the Spring 2022 State Assessment of Colorado Measures of Academic Achievement and PST/SAT show strong growth in English Language Arts and Mathematics. This means that 9-R students have not only survived the pandemic. They overcame his academic challenges.
“We’re really proud of this data,” said Karla Sluis, public information manager for 9-R. “Test scores can’t measure everything, but they are a strong snapshot of student achievement.”
Another remarkable indicator is the reduction in the achievement gap between various groups of students. For example, the district’s growth gap between students participating in the free and reduced lunch and those not participating is only 2.5%. It is worth noting.
“While we know we still have work to do to ensure that all students achieve competency, this is a huge reflection of the hard work our staff and students are putting in to achieve this goal,” Superintendent Karen Cheser said. .
This good news about student success can’t come soon enough.
Across the country, we have seen politics being injected into school districts in unprecedented ways in disparate responses to instruction and safety during the pandemic. Schools have come under undue pressure from school boards and some parents, who would like to force schools to adopt policies that match their own personal beliefs and agendas. Many would have us believe that the school system is broken. And maybe it’s in other places, but not here. This data shows that 9-R schools don’t just work, they work great.
Political influence is not expected to disappear any time soon. A survey reported in June 2022 in US news and world report shows that 68% of parents worry a little or a lot that politicians – not educators – make decisions about what happens in classrooms. Curiously, this was far more of a concern than parents’ ability to pay their bills.
The ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: A Way Forward for Equity-Centered Family Engagement’ survey found that the next three top concerns for parents centered on the happiness and well-being of their children, with children suffering from stress and anxiety and children exposed to school violence. .
The survey also interviewed teachers and school principals and revealed the same concerns. Seventy percent worried that politicians not involved in education would make decisions about the school curriculum, and 64% were worried about parents not involved in education making decisions about the curriculum.
Of course, we want engaged parents. To a point. Homeschooling, class time via Zoom, and hybrid teaching for about 18 months was certainly a wake-up call. Parents’ opinions matter. We just want them to influence – rather than interfere – and shape schools to prioritize all students, in all of their abilities, with return dividends in outcomes.
Yes, we have a socio-economic advantage in Durango. We also have school staff and family members who offer insightful solutions and share responsibility. Critics want to shake the very foundations of this public institution with untested programs and policies, and find flaws in every corner. CMAS and PST/SAT data for 9-R validates the need to protect our schools.
Hip hip hooray for 9-R taking our kids to the top, especially during these struggling years.