Excellence is the Aim: Learning

My experience, as a Jeffco student, then as a teacher, and now as a Jeffco parent, has refined my vision for education. It is laser-focused on all students’ best interest. I believe the Jeffco community deserves nothing less than a steadfast commitment to Excellence, Transparency, and Cooperation.

I want to articulate what I mean by Excellence, recognizing that Jeffco schools already aim for excellence. Everyone in Jeffco whole-heartedly working for it has my profound respect and gratitude. In support of ongoing efforts:

Students in Jeffco need

  • Excellence in learning
  • Excellence in opportunities and
  • Excellence in relationships

I’m amazed at the support the Jeffco community has shown me in my campaign for school board. I know it is rooted in a commitment to our schools and students. Thank you for the opportunity to share my vision of Excellence with you!

Part One: Excellence in Learning

Jeffco can be proud of a decade of measurable improvement in student learning outcomes, despite a season of deep budget cuts. In Jeffco, there is a legacy of continuous improvement, with a record of creating student achievement and growth and narrowing the achievement gap for students living in poverty, with special education needs, and more. This work isn’t finished, and every gain must be won again for each new set of kindergarteners moving toward graduation.

Jeffco has a proven track record, with remediation rates comparable to districts with much higher median incomes and fewer students in poverty. Additionally, Jeffco was recently recognized for having the 2nd highest graduation rate among the nation’s 50 largest school districts, outperforming demographic expectations by 12%. The other two districts in the top three had median incomes tens of thousands of dollars higher than Jeffco and invested thousands more in each student every school year.

Our school communities–the staff, families, and community members who come together for students–have proven themselves effective, and always willing to aim higher. Thus, I am worried that increased teacher turnover and a partisan school board are putting these wins for students at risk. Jeffco’s students are rightfully at the center of our efforts to win educational excellence in our schools and district, and must remain so.

Action Steps: Monitor and respond to student learning outcomes, including achievement and growth, to find exemplars and areas of challenge, then build systems of support and collaboration, not punishment and competition, to move all schools and students forward. Listen to teachers and school communities, who can move us beyond the measurements of learning–always limited–to the art and science of accomplishing learning. Honor and pursue excellence in all subjects through collaboratively developed systems, not merely in the subjects scrutinized with standardized testing under state accountability laws, but also in Health, World Languages, and the Arts.

2 Comments on “Excellence is the Aim: Learning

  1. Pingback: Excellence is the Aim: Opportunities | Amanda Stevens

  2. Pingback: Excellence is the Aim: Relationships | Amanda Stevens

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