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Some parents threaten to pull kids from CSAP testing

Susan Notes:

The good news is that parents are speaking out against the state tests and all the test prep. There is an admirable group backing these parents: The Coalition for Better Education. They are raising money for their annual billboards to inform parents of their rights. YOU can be part of this effort by making a small donation. So far, they have contributions from coast to coast. Every bit counts.

Parent Comment: Two words for Trimberger. DRAMA QUEEN. She doesn't listen when there is one parent speaking. None of them do. The school district has a history of bullying parents. thus they hire principals that abully children, teachers anything that might be different. They take take take. IT is the mentality of GREELEY. They took the Glee out of GREELEY. We need a parental bill of rights so it is a guideline for those clueless voted in educators that follow a dictator who is not a leader but points back to the school district when an idea goes south.

Parent Comment: "this is only Meeker"...Is she kidding? Is she that clueless as to how parents, children and teachers in the district feel? It is this type of self-assuredness and over-confidence that is exacerbating the ongoing problem of poor leadership for our district!

I urge you all to prove her wrong by letting the district know this is not just Meeker! Email feedback@greeleyschools.org and let your voice be heard!

Parent Comment: If you don't want your kid to take the CSAP stand up for them and don't make them take it. Don't threaten. Stop being sheeple. You have the RIGHT to opt your children out. It is NOT required that any child take the test. Gesh, people.

by Sherrie Peif

It was a night of tough love for the Greeley-Evans School District 6 Board of Education, as one by one, parents from Meeker Elementary School told the board the district doesn't care about their children.

They also threatened everything from walking out on Colorado Student Achievement Program testing to leaving the district altogether.

âWhat happened to the days when a teacher could impassion their kids to learn?â Amy Sands said. âWe are no longer preparing our kids for life, we are preparing them for CSAP. How many contact hours do we lose to prepare for these tests, administer these tests or grade these tests? I pulled one child out to home school and I'm strongly considering pulling out my fifth-grader next year so he has opportunity to learn something other than how to take a test. And I don't want to pull my child from the CSAP because I saw what it did to Brentwood a few years ago, but if it's our only voice then I will.â

Sands and several dozen other parents spoke at a listening session with the board Monday after Meeker Elementary School principal Karen Griffin cut Friday Fun from the school schedule to come into alignment with new district curriculum requirements. Friday Fun was
20 minutes set aside each Friday to reward kids for turning in their homework on time and having good behavior at school.

The parents said enough is enough. The district needs to start viewing their students as more than test scores, they said.

âWe're talking about moving elsewhere,â Amber Johnson said. âNot because we don't like Greeley or don't like our friends, but because we don't like the school district. The format of the school is stressful and that's not right. We're expecting them to do this work but we're not giving them any reward for doing it. The board needs to make some sacrifices or you're going to lose more than my kids.â

Board president Linda Trimberger said although she knew when she ran for the board she would need to have thick skin because things would not always be easy, hearing what some of the parents said was hard.

âThe fact that they think we don't care, hurts,â Trimberger said. "I've dedicated my life to this community of children. And every single board member dedicates hours and hours to this community. But we just have to take it. We knew it wasn't always going to be comfortable, and we knew some of the decisions we were going to make weren't always going to be easy, but I'll brush myself off and get back to work in the morning."

Trimberger said board members would listen to what the parents had to say, but ultimately they have to put their trust in superintendent Ranelle Lang's hands. She said several administrators have been working closely with Griffin and the parents to find a compromise, and she's confident that will happen.

"There will still have to be some more work done, but our strategic plan is student achievement," Trimberger said. "This is only Meeker. We have to look at the big picture and all of our students in the district."

But parents like Julie Blehm want more.

"The only worth my child has to the district is her score," Blehm said. "I don't think you care if my child is enjoying learning or being introduced to new and exciting things. If it can't be measured on CSAP I don't think you guys care. That's what it feels like. CSAP should not become the sole leverage against a program that was designed to enrich our child's life. This is an unhealthy environment."

— Sherrie Peif
Greeley Tribune



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