Newspaper articles and editorials are expected to contain a revelatory comment aptly condensing intent or significance. Newspapers frequently place this comment in bold print above the article. The Sun Journal editorial (May 12) regarding voter apathy is boldly headlined: “Too few voters deciding too many consequences.” But, within the editorial is this revelatory comment: “The Lewiston School District is not perfect. Test scores could be better…”

Let’s be equally honest — Jack the Ripper wasn’t perfect; Attila the Hun could have been nicer.

“Test scores could be better…” is understated. After 11 or more years of school, in 2014, less than 50 percent of Lewiston’s high school juniors were found to be proficient by their SAT results. In this past year of SAT testing, 44 percent were proficient in math. This could have been better; it could have been twice as many. The 33.3 percent of juniors proficient in writing, could have been three times as many.

Yes, test scores could be better; they could hardly be much worse. Unintentionally revealed in this editorial, is the newspaper’s apathy regarding the failure of our schools.

I am aware of the educational challenges of poverty, of minority students, of English as a second language, of special education students, and I’m well aware that, within this community, these effects are cruelly compounded. Yet, the district and School Committee could do better, but they would have to fight for students, be willing to fight the MEA, be willing to identify, confront and replace ineffective teachers. They would have to ensure students learn before they are advanced. Simply stated, the district and School Committee would have to care more for the welfare of students than teachers.

Perhaps, Lewiston voters are apathetic. Perhaps, they have become resigned to the rising cost of educational failure. The current school budget, like those that preceded it, will not improve education. At best, it will allow the present failure to continue, which now includes an enlarged student population.

Perhaps voters choose not to vote for the budget to avoid misleading the School Committee and school district into mistakenly believing they are satisfied.

Perhaps voters should reject budget after budget, whether they are increased or decreased, until one is accompanied by a sincere plan to educate children.

Richard Sabine, Lewiston


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