News Feature

The Island

Solutions are simple and complex

Click here to see the full Deer Isle-Stonington High School—Low-Performing School Archive.

While it troubles me to see my friends and relatives struggle with the designation of our Island schools as among the lowest performing in our state, the response to the crisis from the superintendent is more troubling, if not baffling!

The superintendent is quoted as saying “the results of SAT tests should be taken with a grain of salt.” What planet is he living on? He is also quoted as saying “we are not trying to get off the list.” If he believes that, fire him as quickly as possible.

Few of us are fortunate enough to make the rules of the world in which we live. All of us must adapt to and follow the rules if we are to succeed and prosper in our lives. Like it or not, the SAT test and its results are very important to all students. In many respects it tests how we read, write and reason. Those are skills required of successful fishermen, farmers, business people and all citizens.

The importance to the college-bound student is obvious but to those going directly into the workforce, not so. If the data table in the well-written guest column by Carmen and Dennis Rollins is accurate, the preponderance of DISHS students wish to further their education.

The solutions are at the same time simple and complex!

My thoughts:

  1. Accept the facts. The scores are low. The underlying skills and knowledge to test well are missing.
  2. The Island young people are as intelligent and as motivated as any in the country. Given the proper curriculum, leadership and teaching, they will learn and produce test scores to compete with the best. Make the necessary changes!
  3. If our school teachers don’t agree with steps one and two, replace them with professionals that do.

The strength of the Island is an age-old ability to provide a sense of community which supports and nurtures one another. This is an asset that will provide the backbone to face the challenges and to provide encouragement and support to our students, and the professionals at school so that our children will have the best chance for happiness and success in their lives.

Lewis Snow Little Deer Isle Stonington High School class of 1961


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