I write this letter in furtherance of a topic I raised at Candidates Night last week. I had hoped that the issues surrounding MCAS scores in Sudbury would have spurned more open and frank discussion at that time. Although I am personally not a fan of standardized tests as I do not believe they most accurately measure a child’s knowledge since so many factors contribute to one’s scores, I recognize that some standardized test is necessary to ascertain how our children are doing academically. After learning this past year that Sudbury was considered a Level 2 District in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I researched where Sudbury fell in previous years. This data is public information found on the Department of Education (“DOE”) website.
In 2011, based upon MCAS scores Curtis Middle School became a Level 2 School. In 2012, Curtis remained Level 2 and Loring became a Level 2 school. Based upon 2013 MCAS scores, Noyes and Nixon joined Curtis and Loring as Level 2 schools. 2010 was the last year that all five schools were considered to be Level 1 based upon the standards used at that time.
At the SPS School Committee meeting on February 26, 2014, our community was told that Sudbury has never been considered a Level 1 District. It is misleading to our residents, tax-payers, Moms, Dads and grandparents in this town to make such a careless assertion. A recent editorial in the Town Crier stated that we should not over emphasize MCAS. That statement is reckless as school quality is a significant driver of home values. Every tax payer has a vested interest in our schools. In fact, our seniors in town rely upon the value of their homes as part of their retirement. Historically, people move to Sudbury for the excellence of our schools. Decline is a slippery slope. We must hold our administration accountable, stay proactive for our District, providing support to our teachers and economically devised academic enrichment programs for our children so that we do not wake up some day a Level 3 District.
Please visit my website at GoLisa.org for links to the DOE website with videos and documents explaining the Accountability process. I have also included links to the Accountability data for each of our five schools and the 2013 Accountability data for Sudbury.
Lisa Kouchakdjian, Meadowbrook Circle, candidate for Sudbury School Committee