Vermont test scores are awful

To the Editor:

A letter to the editor has been circulating written by Junius Calitri, president of the Vermont School Boards Association. Calitris letterextolling so-called high standards of education in Vermont schoolsis truly depressing.

How can Calitri rationally debate the cost/quality equation in Vermont education as a major figure, the head of the VSBA, who argues, apparently seriously, that "accomplishment in math and reading" and "the high standard" are worth the cost, when he knows full well that Vermont math and reading test scores are in the 230s out of 500, same as the rest of the nation. This means that 23 of all students can't perform at grade level and that Vermont's statistically all-white student body actually performs a point or two worse than the average of white students nationwide.

It's depressing because Calitri knows better than the educational party line he recites. It's also depressing because there are so few voices in Vermont which can be heard making the simple factual point I recited above.

If everyone's willing to pretend that such awful test scores are an "accomplishment," what hope for improvement can there be?

Martin Harris
Jonesborough, TN

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