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Aspen School District holds candidate forum; ACT test scores vary at schools across Valley

Sep 14, 2015

The Colorado Dept. of Education released scores from ACT testing in 2015. Local schools either performed the same as the year prior or scores dipped slightly.
Credit Creative Commons/Flickr/timlewisnm

The Aspen School District is holding a candidate forum Tuesday (9/15) to introduce the public to five people running for the school board. 

Two incumbents and three newcomers are vying for two open seats in the November election. The school board approves the district’s budget, helps establish an academic vision and aids in assessing student progress. 

Superintendent of Schools John Maloy says voters within school district boundaries can vote.

"This certainly is much broader than just the parents of students. We know our schools add value to the community and we know that an investment in our schools and our children is an investment in the future of our community.”

The candidates include Sandra Peirce and Sheila Wills, Margeaux Johansson, Lee Mulcahy and Mary Houchin. The forum starts at 6pm in the high school seminar room.

Voters will see another school-related question on the November ballot. The current board agreed to have voters decide on a property tax increase that would make up for cutbacks from the state.

ACT scores dip slightly

In other education news, the Colorado Department of Education released ACT scores for 11th graders around the state and local students’ scores were either unchanged or slid slightly.

The average scores at Roaring Fork High School and Basalt High didn’t change from the year prior. But, scores went down at Glenwood Springs High School and Aspen High.

In Aspen, the average composite score in 2014 was 24.6. In 2015 it was 23.8. That’s still higher than the state average of 20.1. A perfect score is 35.

Tom Heald is Assistant Superintendent at Aspen. He says scores fluctuate slightly from year to year. They measure effective teaching.

"We do take a look at these scores and we’re able to drill in and look at individual kids and examine, out of the 148 kids, how many of them actually met the college readiness standard in math and how many did not. That informs our progress."

The ACT tests students on English, math, reading and science. The scores can be used in college admissions.