Carbondale schools are exceptional
In response to Carrie Click’s articles on Carbondale Schools, I am writing to express my appreciation for all the effort people have put forth to support us.
It is nice to see something uplifting in the news. Our schools, and the people that make them happen, are beacons of hope in this uncertain world.
The article stated that, “The schools’ average to low ratings (on the CSAP test) didn’t accurately reflect its students’ educational experiences.” The test only measures how well students take a test. There is far more and interesting things happening in our schools that can be measured on a standardized test.
In many ways, our schools are exceptional. I have seen few schools where the culture is as positive as it is here in Carbondale. The staff are talented and dedicated (and have to be to survive here). Our students are good-natured and smart. Even our bad kids aren’t that bad. I am constantly hearing students give brilliant observations, and ask high-level questions. We have remarkable attendance, and kids come to learn. Students work hard, all day, and often seek extra help after school. We have excellent sports team, arguably the best in the land, with high participation. Those who don’t play sports come to the games. Kids like being here, we often have to tell them to go home at sundown. Where else does that happen? I went to school in Jefferson County Public Schools, and none of those (high-performing) schools had the spirit and community that our schools have.
Also, despite the challenges, the diversity of Carbondale schools enriches the experience for everyone involved. Rare in a mountain town, our children have the opportunity to know and learn from people with different backgrounds and stories. As a teacher of ELL (English language learners) I have a lot of respect for the challenges of a changing community. I applaud the people that have worked to embrace this change. And I admire the hard work and perseverance of my Latino students. They are respectful and appreciative, and serious about school. As a result, most of them are learning English quickly and doing well in other subjects. I would guess that few high-performing schools have such high rates of bilingual students as we do here. It is a diverse world, and by getting to know and learn from each other, our students will be well prepared when they venture into it.
So thank-you to the Carbondale Schools Advocacy Committee, and everyone else who supports us. So what if the CSAP calls our schools low-average. If our students keep up the good work, maybe next year they will be called average.
But we know better. We know they’re exceptional.
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