Letter: Failing at Educational Opportunity
To the Editor:
In his May 8 letter headlined “A Particularly Malicious Column,” Justin Campbell of Norwich took exception to Jim Kenyon’s May 5 column, “Community Reflections.” In that column, Kenyon noted that the “Upper Valley is increasingly becoming a land of haves and have-nots.” Campbell does not seem to agree with Kenyon’s opinion that economic affluence has a positive effect on education. In order to find indisputable evidence to the contrary, however, all Campbell has to do is study in detail the NECAP scores at our Upper Valley schools published in the Valley News the day before his letter. If prosperity has little do with academic success, why is there such a discrepancy between the scores posted by schools in wealthy communities, such as Norwich and Hanover, and the scores posted by schools in much poorer towns? All schools can boast about their high-achieving students, but schools in poor school districts must also meet the needs of many severely disadvantaged children. School districts with limited means must struggle to find the resources simply to pay for the basics. No boathouse for the crew team in these towns!
Until all schools can offer high-quality education to their students, regardless of the economic status of their districts, we cannot claim to live in a truly democratic society.