Pueblo City Schools Achievement Level Hits Rock Bottom
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My folks never pushed me. I just decided one day, with encouragement of a friend, that we'd apply ourselves and get straight As. I missed the mark. I got 8 As and 8 Bs. The teacher kissed me in front of the whole 5th grade class as I was the most improved student.
I never looked back since. I graduated 3rd in my HS class, national honor society throuhhout high school, and never missed the honor roll. I rarely got straight As, but also lettered in sports and usually played 1st chair in band.
My dad didn't push me that way. He just wanted me to have a better life than him. We are both hard workers.
Maybe they did not directly push you but I would suspect the culture in your house was you were going to attend school and do good. That is being pushed and that is how it was at my house. I knew from when I was in elementary school I was going to graduate from high school and attend college, it was nothing special just the norm for me. I don't think you see that in a lot of families in the city of Pueblo because when they were kids they did not have to attend college to get a good job so they were more concerned about having fun as a kid then getting good grades.
I think it's difficult for us today to understand the mindset back not too many generations ago. I know that (back East), despite the large size of our family (meaning taking into account all of my father's brothers and sisters and their many children), I was the first to complete college in the late 1960s. Up until then, as you point out, most people thought about just going to work in the local factory, or in our area's case, up to the "big city" (Rochester, NY) to work at Kodak. I was quite interested "here" (meaning more locally), when I visited the museum in Canon City. I asked why there were so many prisons around Canon City. And they told me that originally (forgot the year) that the city was given a choice by the state government of having either a prison or a college. The city chose a prison because "not many people went to college in those days", so the prison was a chance for the city to get more jobs. Today, of course, that seems like an odd choice, but with the perspective of the "the times", it's actually quite understandable...although it certainly didn't look toward the future.
You're also correct that school/college is what the individual makes of it. I started out in a community college in western NYS, and one time when I was sitting in the john in the library, I noticed that above the toilet paper roll, someone had written "MCC diplomas. Take one." Then one year I was visiting the museums at Harvard, and in the john someone had written above the toilet paper roll: "Harvard Degrees. Take one." No matter how good or bad the schools are in Pueblo, every student can ultimately be successful, and in fact, if they're serious, can learn a great deal right in those Pueblo schools.
Pueblo had the same choice Canon City had as the state let Pueblo pick either CU or the state hospital and the city picked the state hospital because it was more jobs for the city and at the time companies did not locate to a city based on the university. Unlike Canon City Pueblo got lucky and got a second chance and took it with Colorado State University - Pueblo. Personally I would like to see the state hospital and CSU Pueblo work together and start some kind of medical school as I believe the state hospital is underutilized and given Pueblo's role in the regions health care it would be a great fit but that is a topic for another time in another thread.
As far as the local schools. Let me be clear I think its important for the city to improve the city schools as its important for the students who graduate from them to get the best education they can but because of CSU Pueblo I don't think its as bad as people think for the city in recruiting companies. The reason is as CSU Pueblo grows and gets to 10,000 and 20,000 students they will be a magnet for top students from a wide region and companies will locate in Pueblo to be by that population. When I went to CSU FC I remember the big controversy was the high drop out rate at the local high schools when they were a college town. That did not stop companies from moving there because CSU FC was still a magnet for top talent and that is what maters most for tech companies.
Last edited by Josseppie; 08-26-2011 at 10:34 AM..
Here's what I'm talking about on this link here when I say Rye of District 70 is best.
I know many of those folks who teach there at Rye High School, Craver Middle School, and the Rye Elementary School as many folks I went to school with back in the day have settled down there in the Valley with their own families.
Rye High School is a little 9-12 public school, but you get the one-on-one attention afforded to perhaps some of the small and expensive charter schools that you might find up the Front Range... as in Colorado Springs and up. I won't even go there with the Pueblo Charter schools.
I'm glad that they were able to do more with less and that even though 4 day weeks can be a pain for the parents, at least a bunch of folks may have saved their jobs.
With the scarcity of jobs, maybe what few jobs we have will drive competition and improve the quality of both our educators and even more so, administration in the District 60 schools and we can see Pueblo become less of a whipping post of the state.
I see a lot of older folks finally getting around to getting higher education. What these kids need to know is that it's so much easier to just get their education out of the way while they're still young and compete for the higher paying and higher skilled jobs... assuming we'll ever have provisions for that here. Worst case, they'll have to travel to find a career.
Some point out that it starts with the parents. Well this is true to an extent, but just because my dad, who immigrated from Ireland, didn't get a college degree did not mean that he wouldn't bust his arse to see that I got a shot at college, which I did. I did great in high school and college was tough for me. I wanted to party for the first couple of years and it slowed me down. But I finally buckled down and finished it, got a good enough job to move out, got married, bought a house, etc. I've never looked back since. Good thing, because my folks didn't have enough money or means to take me back in anyway.
I see my fellow alumni who not only returned to or never left the community that their parents raised them in, but they are the teachers and perhaps administrators of the schools they grew up in. They didn't head up to Denver like I did to try and make it big. I did the Denver scene for 15 years and that was enough for me. Denver will always be there. I can go visit once in a while. But most of my folks are down here.
I agree completely - education is absolutely key to Pueblo's future. One thing to consider if you're looking at Pueblo and have school-age children is that education test scores are skewed lower by extremely poor performance on Pueblo's east side. The same is true for crime statistics. When you're evaluating District 60 you have to remember that the test scores would be significantly higher if you remove the schools located on the east side. I'm not saying that D-60 would move to the top, or even as high as D-70 scores, but it's an important consideration.
So, when you look at D-60's bottom basement status, don't forget to "dis-aggregate" the data and recognize that schools in other parts of Pueblo aren't necessarily in terrible shape.
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