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CSAPping our talents

Few could argue that education is one of the primary challenges faced not only by our community but by communities all over the nation.

This week we learned that Steamboat Springs third-graders are above state par when it comes to reading.

The Colorado Student Assessment Program, mandated for third grade by the state in 1998, tests students on a variety of reading material and their comprehension of that material, which includes letters, poetry, text and stories. The test requires answers in multiple choice format as well as short and long responses.

Overall, third-graders in Steamboat Springs School District scored above the state average. Strawberry Park Elementary reported a 92 percent average compared to the state’s 72 percent average and Soda Creek Elementary scored 79 percent.

With assessment results in hand, districts are supposed to be able to come up with plans for students who need extra help. The state refers to this caveat as an Individual Learning Plan, or ILP.

The trend lately has been to put as much weight as possible in assessments, or, in a more notorious term, accountability.

Accountability is fine. There are few places where accountability should be emphasized more than in our public schools.

But while we are on the subject of accountability, shouldn’t we also hold our school districts, state and federal government accountable?

If teachers are getting students to produce the results expected nay demanded by the government, shouldn’t they be properly compensated for that?

Poor results from students can be considered the result of a negligent community, a negligent nation. But when we drive our best educators away because we don’t pay them a liveable wage where they can be comfortable in our communities where there expected to teach excellence, who is to blame then?

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