Letter to the Editor

Schools' efforts aren't reflected in MAP scores

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

To the editor:

As an educator for 10 years and an employee of the Jackson School District, I take offense to the constant barrage of negative publicity concerning public schools. The recent article on that test results declared local schools "Off the MAP." While I recognize the worthy goal of the MAP tests and the publishing of results, it is a poor reflection of our students, teachers and administrators. The MAP tests have zero impact on student grades and their ability to gain admission to college.

Only seven districts in the state spend less per student than my district, yet our ACT scores are above state and national averages. Are our students "Off the MAP"?

The measure of a school goes well beyond scores on standardized tests. I witness the heart and soul of our school every day: Fifty students involved in the school play; a physics class planning to design, build and launch rockets; athletes and coaches devoting countless hours to their sport; students and teachers mourning the loss of loved ones; hundreds of students arriving early for review sessions, tutoring and group projects; acts of student kindness; students who learn in school all day only to work six hours each night; and a vast majority of our students who are willing to read, write, question and listen to opposing viewpoints while developing their own.

I would be proud and honored if my two young children mature into intelligent, respectful, personable and responsible citizens like most of my students.

DAN HECHT

Social Studies Teacher

Jackson High School

Jackson