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Deer Isle

One of the 10 lowest performing schools in Maine”

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

We all like to point fingers and place “the blame.” In this case no one individual is to blame for the above gross misrepresentation of our school’s performance. This label was based solely on the scores our students received on the SATs.

We would be doing a great injustice to our school system if we were to accept any of the three models designed by the federal government for turning schools around. Replacing our current high school principal for the sole purpose of obtaining federal funding is not the answer. Over the years the need to re-hire the principal position was evident. It has taken several years to find and hire the right person for our high school. Knowing that I was a past school board member who dealt with numerous principal issues while on the board, not only parents but students have informed me that Mr. West has changed things around at the high school. It would be a huge mistake to let another school system get Mr. West’s talents based on these results.

Superintendent Webster is correct when stating that the Student Academic Testing is not the measure for students who do not intend to attend college. So why has this been the deciding factor on labeling schools?

Let’s face it: we are a unique community. With that said, who is to blame? I can honestly say in the case of Deer Isle-Stonington High School that presently no one is to blame. During the past couple of years with Mr. West at the helm, the school board and staff have been working on policies and procedures to make DI-S one of the best. They can only help those who want to be helped. All kinds of doors can be opened that were not around three years ago. The Student Assistance Team has proven itself as one of those doors. Those students who simply do not intend to go to college are forced to take the SAT. As a result some flunk them on purpose while others struggle with answers. So, who is to blame? I say it’s the SAT itself along with the system that has labeled schools based on the results.

Stephen Johnson

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