2012-10-26 / Letters

Leaving the school district won’t pay off

To the editor:

Planning Decisions, Inc. presented its long awaited report, “Analysis of Alternative Education Budgets for the Town of Arundel.”

The consultant did an excellent job summarizing the 19-page report, but what impressed me were the statements from parents during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Two themes emerged – that the faculty, both before Arundel joined Regional School Unit 21 and after the merger, were very competent and committed to their students and that Mildred L. Day School was immeasurably improved since joining RSU 21. One parent said the changes had been, “spectacular.” How wonderful to hear satisfied stakeholders speak glowingly about their children’s teachers and the quality of education their kids are now receiving. And, the toilets now flush and there’s no arsenic in the water.

As I listened to these statements comparing the school before the merger to the school today, I was reminded of the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Another theme was the improved morale within the school and the major role Principal Kevin Crowley has played to bring that about. Leadership matters. “The Chief” has helped transform Mildred L. Day to a school where both kids and adults enjoy going to school. And, the students are achieving. Before the merger, the test scores were mired in the 20th percentile.

On the most recent statewide achievement tests, the fifth-graders are in the top 20 percent. A grant of $15,000 from the Educational Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel certainly was a factor in improving the achievement levels of the students, as is the $80,000 per year for professional development and programming enhancement the school shares with the other schools in RSU 21.

As my granddaughters, who all attended Mildred L. Day School would say, “Papa, it’s a no brainer.” Vote no on Nov. 6.

Bob Wuerthner

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