The Denver Post recently published a profile of one elementary school’s experiences with standardized testing.
In the increasingly loud debate around reforming America’s public school system, most every change being discussed focuses on the teacher.
Reforms are calling for a link between teachers and student test scores, more thorough evaluations, changes to tenure laws and merit pay.
Teachers are in the spotlight because nearly every education expert agrees they are key to student success — a measurement that in most cases is based on how well students perform on the annual assessment.
Stedman Elementary [in Denver] last year posted some of the state’s highest academic growth on the CSAP.
The feat drew the governor, mayor and the district’s superintendent to Stedman’s doorstep for a news conference on the first day of school.
“This is an extraordinary elementary school,” said Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg. But after the dignitaries and TV crews left that day, the real work began again — teachers and students in this urban school battling against the inequities of poverty to raise student achievement above the norm.
“There is not a harder job in the country than being a teacher in an urban or rural school district with children who are living in poverty — there is just not a harder job,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, DPS’s former superintendent, at a recent Senate hearing.