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Opinion

Your article on the Port Washington School District's recent test results seemed based on public relations' spin doctoring from the district, which in turn provided a disservice to your readers and the children of the district. The results are designed to measure how our students are faring and which students will need help to graduate.

In fourth grade 88.3 percent of our students did better than the state standard. By eighth grade, only 74.9 percent of our students did better than the state standard. There is no way to evaluate that as anything but cause for concern. The district identifies students at risk of failing to meet standards and then provides extra remediation during the day and the summer. Something isn't working.

Perhaps the scariest thought is that the children who are having difficulty with the system will be helped by the "math" professionals. While we can debate whether we are teaching to the test, there can be no debate that the methods used are not working for all the children. We need "education" professionals to reach those children who do not respond to what the district is currently providing.

If the school board, and that includes every member, would focus on the children, instead of themselves, perhaps they could demand the changes necessary to help all our children be successful. The board is a mini democracy, it is not "ruled" by any one or two individuals. It only takes four to focus on the children and move us in an appropriate direction. Don't let one or two out of control members take the district hostage. You (the board) can do it. Just say, "No More!"

Larry Tietz


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