After reading the article on the Carbon County school's education meeting, I felt that some firsthand experience might shed light on the education issues that the school faces. My first concern is the PSSA testing results.
Schools use these test results to measure improvement, but in my opinion they are extremely inaccurate. These tests compare 11th-grade students' test results from year-to-year, but this does not give a good idea if a student is actually learning new material. It only compares what year's students did better. I think to get a more accurate reading of how well a school is teaching its students, they should at least compare the same student's test results with previous ones to see progress.
I also saw that schools are attempting to regain students that leave for "cyber and charter schools, which may not be performing as high." I personally left my public school in Carbon County to attend a charter school. The school I switched to was performing better than my public school, but that wasn't why I switched. The main problem was that the school only viewed me as "funds," and the flexibility and opportunity was better at a charter school. It had nothing to do with the awful tests that don't even really measure progress.
I think that the biggest thing local schools need to focus on is care for the students. My experience at the public high school was horrible because of unreachable administration, difficult forms and bureaucracy that takes away from learning. I'm not familiar with the financial side of things, but I believe that nurturing the school and student body to work together, instead of against each other, which is what my experience was like, would be cost-effective and improve the learning environment.
Good luck with that mess,
A former Carbon County Student