Is school budget worthy of support?

I am trying to reconcile the low 11th grade 2012 NECAP scores in mathematics with the $13,500 cost of educating each student in Shelburne. State-wide the NECAP math score was 38 proficient out of 100—CVU scored better with 55 proficient out of a hundred although neither of these scores is acceptable. How do the NECAP scores define “proficient”? And what are we getting for $13,500? If you try to find some answers you will get stonewalled by the very people that should have the information, I asked if I could see a copy of the math test they took last fall and I was told that it was not available. Go figure, we pay for the test and everyone associated with giving it says we can’t see it—stonewall supreme. If this isn’t the tail (education administrators) wagging the dog (taxpayers) I don’t know what is. Now the problem can’t be solely laid at the feet of teachers; there are many excellent and dedicated teachers in our schools.  Parents and students are also factors. I think that basing teacher income on student performance would be a good start to a solution. The irony of the whole exam is that next year is the last year for NECAP. It will be replaced by another test that is even more difficult, heaven help us then, how much lower can scores go?  I don’t feel that I can support the school budget. Are there other Shelburne taxpayers that share my sentiment? If so, show up and vote!

Bruce Elmore, Shelburne


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