The Sun Journal headline (June 12) proclaimed a big “yes” for a new Edward Little High School. The story told how ELHS principal Scott Annear cried out “yes” at news of the voting results. Auburn School Superintendent Katy Grondin announced that “the community spoke loud and clear,” and Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque claimed that “the new school will heighten development and create a better quality of life.”

Everyone, including the Sun Journal, ignores the basic truth that this epic “win” was supported by a mere 16% of Auburn’s registered voters.

Isn’t it ironic that, when a student takes a test in school, a score of 16% is considered an epic failure. Not just an F, but an F-minus, requiring drastic intervention.

How could it be that 16% voter turnout almost exactly corresponds with Edward Little’s standardized test score performance in math which, when coupled with scores of 25% in English and 23% in science, represents some of the lowest test scores in the state.

We can be certain that when prospective business leaders look at Auburn, they will be impressed by the most expensive high school in the history of Maine, but they will turn away when they figure out that, in Auburn’s math classes, 16% actually calculates as an “overwhelming” win.

A shiny new school is nice, but the key measures in academic performance are what smart minds look for.

Alan Whitman, Auburn

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