2013-05-17 / Letters

Kaler does need help

To the editor:

It appears that the F grade assessed to Kaler School in South Portland is accurate. How do I know? Because principal Diane Lang says so. (Referencing Jack Flager’s May 10 story) “teachers and administrators recognized the school was lagging on test scores.” Because Boyd Marley, special education teacher says so: “The F grade from the state did not tell parents or teachers anything they didn’t already know.” Because Matt Halpern, teacher says so. In his letter to the editor “We know our school needs help.” So what, then, is the source of the criticism?

The governor has endeavored to develop a simple and as we now know accurate system to identify schools which need assistance. And the fact that Kaler scored so poorly even relative to the other South Portland schools dispels the myth that the rating system simply reflects rich vs. poor communities. The administrators and teachers of Kaler should be happy that everyone in Maine and in all levels of local and state government are now aware that Kaler needs support.

I believe that the only way to fundamentally fix problems is to be honest and forthcoming about them and to then engage the best and brightest to develop and implement solutions. The governor’s system is the right first step in this process.

James Colbath
South Portland

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