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Local schools are falling short

To the editor,

Last week the Minnesota Department of Education released MCA-II results for math and reading. Farmington's 11th graders showed no improvement in math proficiency results from last year compared to our neighboring school districts. Comparing Farmington to both Lakeville high schools, Apple Valley Senior High, Eastview, Eagan and Burnsville we see the following results.

In 2008, these six schools had an average of 48 percent of 11th graders proving math proficient. Farmington had 23 percent, 25 percentage points lower than the other schools. In 2009, these six districts have an average of 57 percent proficient in math. Farmington has 31 percent, 26 percentage points lower than the other schools. Clearly these six schools prove to have much greater math achievement than Farmington.

Comparison to these six schools is very appropriate, as Farmington has more in common with Lakeville, Apple Valley and other nearby communities than it does with small outstate districts or with inner-city Minneapolis, for example. We said last year that Farmington would do well to examine what these six school districts were doing that was not happening in Farmington. Apparently that never occurred. The school district would like us to think they have a plan to improve math achievement. These test scores show that any such plan is flawed.

We will continue to see such a lack of achievement until you the taxpayer speak up and demand better from this school district. The school board has shown that it is powerless to do anything about this, so you need to start with the school superintendent.

By the way, the scores cited here are available from the state Department of Education's Web site. Go out and do the math yourself. It's not that hard.

Tom Herme