Schools not as good as they say

To the editor:

Emotional arguments and strange reasoning were displayed at the recent Jaffrey-Rindge School District’s deliberative session. It was argued that New Hampshire has the seventh best schools in the world, and that since Jaffrey and Rindge are part of the state, that its children are getting a “world class” education. Therefore, since test scores have risen, albeit from a low base, teachers are entitled to a raise double the rate of inflation.

I do not believe this argument. A comparison was made with four neighboring communities. A true comparison should be made with other districts in the state. A different picture then emerges. Out of 162 districts, the top-scoring district had a combined math and reading NECAP score of .995. Rindge schools combined scores were .489, i.e., No. 88, meaning that 54 percent of towns scored better. Jaffrey was No. 90 at .485. The district is in the state’s bottom half. Out of 219 elementary schools in the state, 111 had a higher combined score than Rindge Memorial School. The 2012-2013 state scores indicated that the majority of students in the district were not scoring at grade level proficiency in reading, math and writing. Proficiency levels were 43 percent in reading, 42 percent in math and 44 percent in writing.

The argument that New Hampshire is world class is proven false by recent SAT scores by state: in both critical reading and writing, New Hampshire in No. 26, followed by No. 28 in math.

District improvements in test scores reflect teaching to the test and alignment of instruction. Relationship of that to teacher quality is unproven.

I urge defeat of the proposed teachers’ contract. They will survive.

Rick Sirvint


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