To the editor:

I was a product design engineer for many years designing appliances of different kinds. Engineers were responsible for seeing that the appliances met their intended function, were easy to use, were safe, of sound quality, met cost targets and were manufacturable. All designs were required to meet minimum engineering standards. For example cooking appliances are required to meet minimum sanitation and safety standards among others. If you look for the UL mark when buying appliances you are, in essence, checking to make sure the product meets minimum safety standards. I think most people are in favor of these standards. Everyone wants to know their appliances are safe.

Similarly everyone expects their homes and places of business to be built according to code, or to basic standards of construction.

For something as important as education of our children, shouldn’t we expect our school districts to meet certain minimum academic standards? Of course we should and that is what the ILEARN tests and federal accountability ratings are all about. They measure achievement to established academic standards. These standards are set not by politicians but by educators in the state of Indiana. They define what students should know and be able to do at specified grade levels.

It is only reasonable to expect local school districts, including East Noble, to compare favorably to these standards. Unfortunately, with the exception of Westview, they don’t. East Noble’s performance has been particularly poor. In LaGrange and Noble counties, East Noble had the lowest ILEARN scores, next to lowest graduation rate and lowest achievement on the federal accountability ratings.

I challenge the local school districts, particularly East Noble, to do better. As reported in The News Sun, Jan. 4 edition, Lakeland appears to have already taken up the challenge. East Noble, not so much. I hope East Noble sees the value in meeting academic standards established by their peers and also takes up the challenge. It reflects on the schools.

Larry Wolf


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