How in the world do two school districts that are ranked in the top 5 percent of schools in the nation score so low in state tests?
Both Grand Haven and Spring Lake earned bragging rights via Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report earlier this year for having the most educated students in the nation. They also do extremely well in academic competitions, with Grand Haven in particular hitting consistent home runs with their Science Olympiad teams.
We applaud them for their excellence.
Yet how then can only half of third- through eighth-grade Grand Haven students be proficient in math and reading? How can 38 percent of the youngsters in Spring Lake lack proficiency in these subjects?
These schools are among the best of the best. Yet only half or two-thirds of their students read and write well?
We cry foul.
The state's new scoring system is clearly flawed and needs to be reconsidered.
Just as our teachers and students adapt to new testing requirements, and begin to achieve within the state's boundaries, a new scoring system comes along. There are always new requirements, expectations and measures by which schools are "held accountable."
Perhaps the state should be held accountable to these children.
Certainly there's little doubt that the state must develop standards for our educators, but they also must set challenging and attainable goals. Allow the report cards to reflect the real-world achievements of our students and educators. And that's academic excellence.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.