To the Editor:
In the past few years, Jefferson Village School has continued to be plagued with issues hovering over the day-to-day activities involved in educating its students. It seems that money shortages are always present and the sports field issues, although improved, still remain unresolved.
Most importantly, when compared to other school systems, student performance remains below average.
In spite of these ongoing situations, JVS cost per student for regular instruction is twice the state average. Why aren’t citizens, particularly parents, openly more involved about these matters, specifically school performance as it relates to their own children? When compared to other school systems in AOS 93, funding and teacher pay are apparently sufficient, or more than sufficient. Unfortunately, however, student grades/score performance remains sub par.
It is clear there are many dedicated teachers at JVS, who work hard each day to educate our children. However, I would submit the management team now in place for the past 3 to 4 years shares the responsibility for the poor performance.
Given the myriad mandated programs that are referenced at almost every school committee meeting, it seems the opportunity for a child to succeed must exist, yet student performance does not indicate that to be true. There have been two report cards issued by the Department of Education, revealing the following facts: 59 percent of the JVS students were proficient in math in 2012, decreasing to 46 percent in 2013. 77 percent of the JVS students were proficient in reading in 2012, decreasing to 65 percent in 2013.
During this current school year, major efforts are underway to provide tutoring to students who lack proficiency, but when performance scores (above) indicate tutoring is required for 35 percent of students in reading and 54 percent of students in math, the whole system needs to be examined.
In addition, while it is important for students to make progress relative to their current level, as is presently the goal, it is equally important for students to make progress toward a standard that will help to ensure success in later life. The subject matter of math and reading has not changed over the decades.
As students, the vast majority of children all learned those skills without attending a new school, equipped with all the latest technology of today. Why is JVS having such difficulty?
As a taxpayer, I object to the continual requests for more money from citizens to be turned over to professionals who, despite annual increases, are not demonstrating the ability to adequately educate the children of Jefferson, thus leaving them unprepared to graduate into high school. This community, which cares about the long-term success of its children, deserves better.
Until there is a plan in place to address the inefficiency of our spending, as well as a clear and substantial improvement in standardized scores of students, it is difficult to make a logical case for additional increased funding.