Not the time for ‘raising the bar’ on student testing

Published 10:44 am Saturday, August 28, 2010

To the Editor:

I will be brief.

Mathews County Public Schools consists of three schools with a total population of 1,230 students. We have been fully accredited for the past nine years.

Each school has recently met all benchmarks for Adequate Yearly Progress. It is a struggle and a labor of love to educate all of our children.

Our budget has shrunk by over $1 million for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Several educational positions were cut, which include a testing director, librarian and several teachers. The upcoming budget cycle is expected to be difficult as well.

I read your article in The Tidewater News (“Standards of learning key to uninterrupted progress for students”, Aug. 27).

I agree with the columnist on everything except one point. Now is not the time to raise cut scores. Simply “raising the bar” is not fair to the students or the teachers. Many parents have told me they home-school because “of all the testing.”

Please understand our reality — education in Virginia has been dealt a serious financial blow. Do not raise cut scores; it could possibly be a knock-out punch.

Dr. David J. Holleran

Division Superintendent