|Holyoke School District opposes Amendments 60, 61, Proposition 101|
|Written by Brenda Johnson Brandt|
Opposition to Amendment 60, Amendment 61 and Proposition 101 on the Colorado ballot Nov. 2 was voiced by Holyoke School District Re-1J Board of Education at its Sept. 21 meeting.
Board members approved a resolution opposing the three ballot measures. Their concern is each of these proposals will significantly interfere with the ability of the State of Colorado and local governments, including school districts, to provide the public services and infrastructure the citizens expect and deserve.
“Collectively, these three proposals will cripple the ability of the state to meet its obligations to sufficiently fund public education,” stated the board’s resolution.
This will “lead to more budget cuts, larger class sizes and fewer teachers and programs to meet the educational needs of this community.”
Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) describes the three ballot proposals in a nutshell, as follows:
A60 overturns prior local elections, cuts local support for schools and charges new taxes on many public services.
A61 restricts common-sense investment in infrastructure and ability to manage finances.
Prop 101 significantly reduces local and state support for public services, in particular transportation and K-12 education.
CASE cites the following four points to describe the impact of the three proposals on schools:
—Public K-12 schools will lose $1.6 billion in local funding as a result of slashed property taxes.
—8,000 teacher jobs will be cut, resulting in larger class sizes.
—All other essential state services will be cut by 99 percent if the state replaces lost local funds.
—State officials have validated a district-by-district analysis of K-12 impacts across the state, noting cuts of 37-62 percent will be seen in per pupil funding from local sources.
CASE references www.look ingforwardcolorado.com for more information.
Board policy process reviewed
The process for adoption of board policies is under consideration in Policy BG. It specifies policy adoption as follows:
At the first meeting, the proposal will be presented as an information item during a business meeting or a work session.
At the second meeting, it will be presented for first reading, discussion and a first vote.
At the third meeting, the proposal will be presented for a second reading, discussion and final vote.
In first reading at last week’s meeting, suggestions were made for policy wording changes in the proposed document.
As per the policy being discussed, the proposal will return to the next meeting on Oct. 5 for first reading.
NWEA and ACT data presented
District Assessment Coordinator Kimberlee Bennett reviewed Northwestern Evaluation Association (NWEA) and American College Testing (ACT) data from recent testing.
She noted the NWEA involves MAPs (Measure of Academic Progress) testing. She showed the 2010 NWEA fall predictor for CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program) scoring that will be completed next spring. The detailed chart also showed the 2009 NWEA fall CSAP predictor and the actual 2010 CSAP scoring.
Bennett noted teachers can use the data to decide at what cut point proficiency is probable and to identify the content necessary to reach proficiency.
Additionally, teachers can group students, identify those in need of more intensive intervention and use the information to validate the current curriculum and make adjustments.
Supt. Bret Miles added this report is significant, as it shows how assessment data can be used at the front end instead of after the fact.
Bennett reported on the Colorado ACT data analysis for all Colorado juniors taking the test last April.
In 2001, the ACT became the statewide assessment for all 11th graders. It measures student knowledge and skills in the areas of English, math, reading and science. Additionally, it provides a composite score which averages the results from all the content areas on a scale of 1-36.
Bennett not only looked at Holyoke’s junior ACT test results, but also the senior class ACT test scores. She pointed out, however, the senior scores only involve those who are college-bound, while all juniors are required to take the Colorado ACT for the junior score results.
Summarizing the ACT report, Bennett noted the 2010 seniors were above state average in two of four tests, plus the composite. Holyoke’s juniors in 2010 didn’t perform as well as the previous year’s juniors.
Bennett pointed out ACT achievement gaps are similar to what is seen on NWEA and CSAP testing. She added juniors in core classes are competitive with juniors across the state.
In other business Sept. 21, the Re-1J board:
—approved a request from cheerleading sponsor Jane Zink to hold a cheer camp in the new gym Jan. 22.