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Don’t accept explanation for test scores

July 25, 2012
The Leader Herald

I found the scores of Northville's eighth-grade students on the 2012 English language arts test (70 percent failing to meet the standard) and the math exam (50 percent failing to meet standard) appalling, but Superintendent Kathy Dougherty's response to these results was even more troubling. In last Wednesday's Leader-Herald, Mrs. Dougherty indicated that her district's efforts to improve scores are a "work in progress."

"You have to diagnose where your problem is ... prescribe the correct measures that need to be put into place ... assess if those corrections are being used properly."

Mrs. Dougherty, this is not a new problem. It goes back to before I was elected to the board in June of 2005, and I was concerned with our math and English scores then and the board began to look at ways to deal with the problem then, and in fact the board reorganized the middle school in hopes of bringing about a positive change in the test scores and the educational environment.

It is now time to hold someone accountable for these dismal results, and we can't blame the students. If you and the principal are not up to making the hard decisions that need to be made, then maybe the board needs to take a greater interest in what their primary concern should be - to provide the best educational setting for all our students. I would maintain that after 34 years as an administrator and educator in a large suburban high school, a 70 percent/50 percent failing rate is far from meeting that goal. You need to look at staffing, reassigning, disciplining, coaching and bringing experts in to help out with what is going on in the classroom. Please don't fall back on those old, worn-out arguments about the poverty level of our district and the number of students getting free or reduced lunches as an excuse for the poor results on tests scores. The parents of these students have a right to have their kids helped and not be told that this is a "work in progress."

Voters of Northville school district, shame on us if we sit back and don't take an interest in what is going on academically in our school.





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