To the editor: To use Mr. Bob Crandall’s analogy, “booing the home team” is an equally ineffective strategy to improve performance.

Mr. Crandall states that “Kent County schools have repeatedly received failing and below average ratings in every category measured.”

Kent County Public Schools also has received high rankings in the same publications. As recently as 2018, U.S. News ranked Kent County High School 49th in Maryland out of more than 300 high schools, which put KCHS in the top 16% of high schools in the country.

Let’s look at the U.S. News numbers that Mr. Crandall addressed.

“The Kent County school system has a catastrophic 7% proficiency rating in math — scored by performance at grade level — and a dismal 44% for reading comprehension. For college readiness the school system received another dismal rating of 28 out of 100.”

If you compare these numbers to other Maryland school districts you will find that KCHS is: eighth in the state for college readiness, 22nd in the state for math proficiency and sixteenth in the state for English proficiency.

It is neither an exaggeration nor an excuse to explain that our small numbers make it possible for there to be wildly different results based on the scores of a handful of students — sometimes up and sometimes down.

Had Mr. Crandall attended the Aug. 23 Board of Education work session, he would have seen the extensive KCPS Strategic Plan presentation by KCPS administration and staff who have been working diligently not to hide student data but to shine a light on it to determine how best to meet the needs of our students.

Mr. Crandall claims that “Victimization, real or imagined, is glorified and put on the pedestal; underperformance is discounted/attributed to indiscernible social factors.”

How did he come to this conclusion?

Schools are reopening after what has easily been the most challenging year for everyone.

Why denigrate our schools when we are still recovering?

Why not offer help and support instead? Encouragement instead of ire.

These rankings are used by many as the reference point for schools. The information they provide is a useful tool and offers a narrow glimpse of our schools.

But they don’t tell the whole story.

I will continue to cheer my own children, their peers and our schools and measure their progress not by the numbers in a magazine but by their own individual progress.

Francoise Sullivan

Board of Education member

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