Danville school board members think they know better than teachers

Published 4:46 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

Dear Editor,

Some obvious issues concerning the Danville Schools have not made the light of day or have been misrepresented.

Let’s look at test scores. Comparing previous years of Kentucky mandated test scores is like comparing apples to goats. They aren’t even related. The Kentucky Department of Education revamps state tests every four to five years. Those changes skew the validity of previous years’ scores because the current tests are not scored exactly the same as previous years. One of Dr. Look’s detractors even pointed out that fact by stating the high school’s distinguished rating doesn’t really mean anything since the state changed the way they scored the tests.

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However, if you look at the district’s ACT scores, you will find that Danville juniors have consistently scored within a tenth of a percentage point of the state average. The ACT is given across the country, which makes the scoring valid and consistent over a longer period of time. The Danville ACT scores show that our students consistently achieve at a high academic level.

Secondly, let’s look at those who signed the letter of complaint. I signed it. Four of the five building principals signed it. Several highly regarded current and retired Danville school administrators signed the letter, along with current and former teachers, teachers’ aids, staff, parents, and concerned citizens. These are people who work in the trenches with Dr. Look. Who would better know if he is working for the success of ALL students than the very people who see him, day in and day out?

The board members who voted not to continue Dr. Look’s contract are not professional educators. They are volunteers who won an election to oversee the educational policies of the Danville schools. With their votes, they told the professional educators in the Danville schools that they, the school board volunteers, have superior knowledge of what’s best educationally for the Danville schools.

I once heard a candidate for school board (who did not win) state that he could walk into a high school classroom right then and teach history even though he did not have any teacher training. Teachers hear these types of comments too often. It’s especially shameful when it comes from school board volunteers.

The Danville schools — students, teachers, staff, administrators, and Danville citizens — deserve better representation, accountability, and transparency from our school board.

Elaine Wilson-Reddy