• Last modified 2495 days ago (Oct. 18, 2012)


Aiming for clarity

It seems my editorial last week came across as critical of the Marion, Centre, and Peabody-Burns school districts, when it wasn’t meant to be. But when multiple people get the wrong impression from an editorial, it’s possible the problem was with the editorial and not the reader. So here it is, take two.

All of the school districts locally are working hard to accomplish the goals set for them by the state and federal government. You can’t fault them for that. But you can fault the state and federal goal-setters for choosing goals that won’t prepare students for education after high school — something that is becoming increasingly necessary for students to find prosperity later in life. Despite that need, federal education standards don’t include standards for college-readiness.

It falls to local school boards and administrators to set any goals for college readiness. When Hillsboro USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble saw college-readiness numbers — as interpreted by the ACT — that he wasn’t pleased with, he recommended having all seniors take the ACT. If the school district sticks with that plan, it is sure to increase the number of students prepared for the test, because teachers will be able to spend more time on college prep material knowing that the school district specifically wants students prepared for the ACT.

When someone has an idea that is worth considering, it doesn’t mean others’ ideas are wrong. Our local schools clearly understand that, best exemplified by cooperation on the Technology Excellence in Education Network. One of the reasons we have locally controlled schools is to encourage innovation that can be shared with other schools. Education itself isn’t about finding a single answer and sticking with it. It’s a constant effort to re-examine answers and find better ones. That is how knowledge advances.

Advertising executive Leo Burnett had it right, “When you reach for the stars, you may not get one, but you won’t get a handful of mud either.”


Last modified Oct. 18, 2012