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Old 12-18-2019, 04:46 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
6,197 posts, read 6,640,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
What surprises me is that antiquated structures haven't changed with the times the way industry had to modernize or die, the same way farmers had to mechanize their farms or go bust. But we still have these ancient redundant bureaucracies in much of the nation's educational infrastructures.

Case in point: Much of mainland Europe got leveled in WW-2 and had to rebuild anew, especially railroads and steel mills. We weren't leveled so we just went back to the same old same old and by the 1970s most eastern railroads were bankrupted and our steel mills were closing because newer methods and mills in Japan, Germany, and Korea were cranking out better steel at far better prices and our universities were increasingly filled by better students from abroad.

Arguments about local control should have gone away 50 years ago with the advent of standardized testing and textbooks. Two plus two is the same in every school district in the world, local control has no value other than to satisfy tribal instincts of us versus "those people" in "that" district. Every school is local and has a principal whose belly button can be pushed by any parent if needed. We only need one school board to set rules and regulations, figure out the schedules, set the bus routes, and design decent lunch menus.
Those are good points. And I think it illuminates a key difference between the private sector and the public sector.

In the private sector, there is no democracy. The business owners call the shots. During my career I experienced 5 recessions. At those times the businesses had to severely cut costs in order to survive. As such, many workers and managers who had positions and power lost both. The alternative for the company was bankruptcy. It was never fun. It was never fair.

In the public sector, most people who make through the first few months have more job security. Many are in a Labor Union. There is no competitor to force change and consolidation. Given that people generally will not voluntarily cede power or control, things don't change.

With regards to school districts, I think there is a huge opportunity to become more efficient and to adapt to a new world linked by the internet, but it will never happen without some sort of crisis that suddenly makes it happen.

Our current method of funding schools mostly from local property taxes creates a fundamentally unfair system to educate students.

Just imagine what could happen if we had solely one school district and every school had the same financial resources to offer quality educations for all. We likely would develop many more young minds that could result in a mutually beneficial future.
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Old 12-18-2019, 05:26 AM
 
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I am not sure why people think that schools would have the same financial resources if we were one large district when schools within districts don't always seem to have the same financial resources now. And in reality, what schools need isn't the same financial resources - they need equitable resources, which means areas in poverty/high mobility/high risk areas actually need more resources because they have more difficult problems to solve. The people from richer areas never stand for that though, if they think it is happening - they see it as taking away from their kid's gifted program or scholarship opportunity, and they may be right. I totally agree that funding schools by property taxes is a fundamentally unfair system.
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:44 PM
 
4,539 posts, read 2,605,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
What surprises me is that antiquated structures haven't changed with the times the way industry had to modernize or die, the same way farmers had to mechanize their farms or go bust. But we still have these ancient redundant bureaucracies in much of the nation's educational infrastructures.
I honestly agree with a lot of your points, but calling something antiquated isn't exactly an argument against it. The wheel is antiquated, but no one is crying foul because we are all driving around on "technology" that is thousands of years old. The question of whether a larger central organizing body is better than many smaller bodies is a complex one that I don't think can be settled by saying "this way of doing things is old."


Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
I am not sure why people think that schools would have the same financial resources if we were one large district when schools within districts don't always seem to have the same financial resources now. And in reality, what schools need isn't the same financial resources - they need equitable resources, which means areas in poverty/high mobility/high risk areas actually need more resources because they have more difficult problems to solve. The people from richer areas never stand for that though, if they think it is happening - they see it as taking away from their kid's gifted program or scholarship opportunity, and they may be right. I totally agree that funding schools by property taxes is a fundamentally unfair system.

Very good point. I blame much of this thinking on the idea that all men are born with equal abilities and opportunities and that we all just need to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps." This is a very "American" idea in the sense that many people identify this as one of our core beliefs as Americans, but it's wrong. It's closely tied to a libertarian view of free will, which is also wrong. There is no doubt that much of our station in life is beyond our volitional control. IQ, parental upbringing, financial resources, educational opportunities, parental and peer modeling, etc. are all factors that are beyond our control in our developing years. While it might be true in a strictly logical sense that adults can choose to go back to college, work hard at a job or do many other things to improve their income, this idea isn't actually very realistic once all of these other factors are baked in. If you weren't raised to work hard or you weren't raised in an environment that values education or you weren't born with good enough genetics to have a decent IQ, the odds of you ending up a success in any financial sense are quite low.

Who we are today is largely a product of things that are beyond our control, and the person we are today determines the decisions we make for tomorrow. If the average person understood this, our political climate regarding things like school funding would look very differently.


******
Serious question: Doesn't Colorado Springs allow school choice? So couldn't someone who is zoned for Harrison go to a D12 or D20 school?
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wittgenstein's Ghost View Post

******
Serious question: Doesn't Colorado Springs allow school choice? So couldn't someone who is zoned for Harrison go to a D12 or D20 school?
Yes, with some caveats.

1. The family is responsible for the transportation when opting to go to a school out of area, especially out of district.

2. If a school is at capacity, they can turn people away who are out of area.

3. There is a "Choice Window" when people must apply to get into an out-of-area school for the following school year. That window is open right now for the 2020-2021 school year until maybe mid February. Once in, the student typically can stay there in subsequent years.

I have a suspicion that some schools get away with not playing the Choice application process fairly. I 100% know this happened at a Charter school I worked at years ago. They found ways to game the system to favor 'desirable' students.
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:59 PM
 
4,539 posts, read 2,605,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
Yes, with some caveats.

1. The family is responsible for the transportation when opting to go to a school out of area, especially out of district.

2. If a school is at capacity, they can turn people away who are out of area.

3. There is a "Choice Window" when people must apply to get into an out-of-area school for the following school year. That window is open right now for the 2020-2021 school year until maybe mid February. Once in, the student typically can stay there in subsequent years.

I have a suspicion that some schools get away with not playing the Choice application process fairly. I 100% know this happened at a Charter school I worked at years ago. They found ways to game the system to favor 'desirable' students.
How often are schools at capacity? This is an interesting concept to me because I moved here from Dallas, and the district you live in completely determines the school you can attend (save for charter or private schools, obviously). This, predictably, results in very large amounts of economic segregation and rich kids having access to much better schools. People in favor of keeping the system argue that, if they opened it up via school choice, everyone would rush into the best schools right away. This doesn't seem to be happening here, though, does it?

I am genuinely curious why more people don't utilize school choice. Or maybe they try, but capacity is met?
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Old 12-18-2019, 04:14 PM
 
6,168 posts, read 8,430,896 times
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I am not sure how many schools are at capacity - but I know some of the really 'popular' schools are at capacity or close, but definitely not all of them. A lot of the highly-ranked charters tend to be full all the time, and some of the traditional schools, particularly in newer growth areas, may be full. In my district, I think Doherty is at capacity for high schools but the others have room. Not sure about the elementaries or middle schools.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:17 AM
 
178 posts, read 61,050 times
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I’m pretty sure D38 is at capacity. They are using portables at my kid’s elementary school.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Colorado
732 posts, read 613,027 times
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I know we’ve had this discussion before on here but I’m going to chime in again. We came from Albuquerque, NM with a population not much larger than CoS. They have 1 school district for the entire city. It is by far the worst system ever. The special needs programs were almost non-existent, and the gifted programs were awful. 30+ students in every class was the norm. And any building updating or refurbishing took forever. Who knows, maybe it could work here. But I am skeptical.

But my special needs son went from a 17 percentile reading score to a 79 percentile reading score within 6 months of leaving Albuquerque public schools and moving into D-20. My kiddo could barely read when he left New Mexico. Within half a year, the special needs and vision teachers up here got him what he needed and he started to thrive. It is expensive for us to live where we do now, we have a much smaller home than before but it’s worked out for our son.

We do know if you try to choice into a desired school or district and your kid has an IEP or 504 they can be turned away much easier than a “typical” student. Thus, many special needs parents like us have to buy inside the district or school boundaries to make sure our kids get into the schools with resources. It sucks but it is what it is.
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Old 01-25-2020, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
6,197 posts, read 6,640,949 times
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Default Pikes Peak region's school districts leading Colorado in growth

https://gazette.com/news/pikes-peak-...2f55a8df6.html

"With the fastest-growing school district in Colorado, the Pikes Peak region’s 17 public school districts are surpassing statewide growth, according to enrollment numbers released Thursday.

Pupil count among Colorado’s 178 public school districts was flat this academic year, the Colorado Department of Education reports, showing a preschool through 12th grade enrollment increase of 0.2% over 2018.

But the Pikes Peak region’s districts collectively grew by 1.2% this school year to a total of 123,944 students."

"Leading the state is School District 49 based in Peyton, east of Colorado Springs. Of districts with more than 100 students, D-49 had the largest fall semester increase compared to 2018, adding 1,493 students for a 6.7% increase to 23,890 students.

The jump was enough to bump D-49 up from 13th largest in the state to the 12th largest district, surpassing Greeley-Evans School District 6.

D-49 officials had projected a hefty influx based on residential construction in D-49 neighborhoods as well as “steady movement of military families into our region,” said spokesman David Nancarrow.

“We have been among the fastest-growing districts in the state for the past five years and anticipate we’ll continue on this type of pace into the near future,” he said.

D-49 built and opened two new elementary schools in the past few years, which will address the need for four to six years, he said. Constructing a new middle school in the next two to three years is the new priority, Nancarrow said.

Not all local districts are growing. As reported in The Gazette after the fall pupil count, Colorado Springs School District 11 has lost its title as the region’s largest school district, losing 355 students this school year for a total of 26,040, a 1.3% drop from last year.

At the same time, Academy School District 20 gained 425 students for 26,603, a 1.6% increase.

What possibly pushed Academy D-20 into its new standing was offering tuition-free full-day kindergarten, which Gov. Jared Polis successfully lobbied Colorado lawmakers to fund statewide.

D-20 had been charging parents for full-day kindergarten and with the free offering, added 490 full-day kindergartners this school year for a total of 1,410, a 53% increase.

Over the past five years, D-20 has gained more than 1,500 students, while D-11 has seen enrollment fall by about 1,900 students."
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:51 AM
 
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D11 had been offering free full day kindergarten for years. A few D20 parents might have opted to stay in their district for kindergarten now that they could, but I doubt that hardly any D20 families would choose a district for 13 years over 1 year of kindergarten. Some may have put them in D11 for 1 year and then pulled them to D20 for 1st maybe. I think the difference is simply a matter of where the neighborhoods are now, where new homes are being built. We see in these forums a lot of people new to the area, etc., choose to live in the D20 area for the newer housing. That is now moving out a bit to D49 and Peyton also. I think things may cool down a bit in terms of growth but that in general that part of town is the current direction of growth for the foreseeable future. Some D11 schools did have increased enrollment over last year or were stable - it isn't an across the board decline.
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