Anastasia Campbell—Teacher at an alternative school, D-11 in Colorado Springs
- D-11 is the largest district in southern Colorado and is a diverse district with students from all over the world. The students in the district have high poverty, low socio-economic backgrounds. The students in the school are 33% ELL, 87% free and reduced lunch, and many are at risk of dropping out.
- Based on last year’s CSAP scores, the students in her school scored 7% proficiency in math, 12% proficiency in science, and 22% proficiency in reading and writing.
- The state has to give the districts and schools the resources and opportunities to help them to be competitive locally—but they are not being prepared to compete in the local job market, much less in the global market. Ms. Campbell notes that: “We are not even preparing these students to enter the workforce” where they are not prepared be competitive for even minimum wage jobs. We are not giving them the education they need to break the cycle of poverty or jail.
- Ms. Campbell notes that currently: “I personally buy every single supply in the classroom for my students. I didn’t have to do that before to support my own students.”
- The new state standard is to meet 21st century technology and it can’t be met by sending students who have access to a computer maybe twice a month out into the work force. The school has one computer lab for 250 students. The school won a grant last year for a mobile computer lab that has 17 laptops, but this has to be shared among 22 teachers and all their students.
Brenda Krage—Chief Academic Officer Pueblo 60
- 68% Pueblo City’s students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
- Created model strategic plan about five years that included community and district involvement as a part of their roadmap, but none of the six objectives can be met because there is no funding to implement them.
- Public wants to help and be involved, but it is difficult to understand the complexity of the education system.
- Average school building is between 50-52 years old.
- One of the only districts in the state to never have passed a mill levy override.
- “Our student achievement is so low” that the district cannot fix it in one year, but rather it will take several years. If the district had the resources needed, they could really accelerate the process to get students up to proficiency.
- $1 million dollar investment needed to buy new textbooks for K-12.
- We assume that when we send kids to school they will get the same programs across the district, but this isn’t true.
- She believes that there is no local control of education, but rather they must respond to mandates, and feel like they are “not the drivers.”
Theresa Wrangham:–BVSD parent
- “I’ve watched a lot of struggles, and not just with my daughter. Our kids are falling through the cracks.” They are not receiving an adequate education.
Don Stensrud—Principal at Fairview High School in BVSD
- If you believe in the bell curve as an educator, then you believe that some students are destined to fail. If you take away the bell curve, then you have to believe that everybody can learn.
- Proud to work for a high-achieving high school.
- Class sizes have grown in the last few years. It is hard to be in class of 36-40 students and get individualization that truly meets students’ needs. It is “not quality education” to have that many students in a class.
- When he started as principal eight years ago, FHS started with an average of 25.2 students per teacher, but this year has grown to 27.4 students per teacher. This increase in class size makes a difference of approximately seven less teachers, which means that the school is unable to offer 35 sections of classes. The class sizes have increased because of decreases in funds for schools.
- FHS has 3.5 professional development days for teachers, which is not enough time to work on the changing curriculum and adopting to common core standards. Now teachers have to do this work outside professional development days on their own time. Ideally the school would have 8-10 professional development days.
- The school is not able to meet the academic challenges of a diverse student body on both ends of the spectrum. There is not enough enrichment for students on one end of the spectrum, nor is there enough support for struggling students. More resources would make a difference.