Can we lose the tabloid sensationalism?
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges has advised the Auburn School Department that, due to major deficiencies at Edward Little High School, the school is in danger of losing accreditation. So Chicken Little runs with that one fact and the public goes into a panicky frenzy.
The public needs more facts.
Accreditation is lost if deficiencies aren’t corrected by a certain date? Renovations will cost $48.7 million; construction can start by this date and finish by that date? New construction will cost $61.1 million, starting this date and finishing that date? In the interim, students will be taught where? Do the $48.7 million and $61.1 million figures include costs related to moving and teaching students elsewhere? Possible funding could come from the state, the federal government or winning the lottery? Or will Auburn citizens have to pay, either through higher taxes or bonding?
Ongoing discussion regarding the deplorable condition, how and why it occurred and who let it occur is not helping reach a solution. OK, maybe we need to look at how and why so that mistakes do not get repeated.
I fully understand detailed discussions and planning are needed, and definite answers are not yet available; however, I find it difficult to believe that the NEASC’s threatening to pull accreditation has not included a deadline for correcting the deficiencies. Such a date would certainly put a lot of minds at ease and slow down Chicken Little.
Judith W. McKinney, Auburn

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