This was the headline in the Boulder Daily Camera this morning. The article went along with the release of school testing proficiency scores as a result of CSAP and ACT testing completed last year. BVSD had 26 “excellent” ratings awarded to 23 individual schools which was more than any other Colorado School District.
I talk to many people around the country and having a strong school district is such an asset to our community and helps preserve real estate values. However, there is a downside to this type of reporting. Many parents use this information exclusively to judge the merits of a school. The soul of a school does not show up in a rating. Locally, we have many students who speak Spanish as a second language. These students are at a big disadvantage when they take standardized tests in English. Many of the schools with lower ratings have a large ESL (English as a Second Language) population. The schools who have many ESL students have high diversity and many times have more teachers who are able to split students into small groups based on skill level. The Lafayette schools recently have made many innovative efforts to attract students to their neighborhood schools. They have created specialized engineering programs and created magnet schools focusing on math and science. The bottom line is for parents to check out the schools in person to see what they have to offer, not just relying on the test scores.
For scores for individual schools go to http://reportcard.cde.state.co.us/reportcard/CommandHandler.jsp