Comments by Noble ‘betray an irresponsible and cavalier attitude’

To the editor:

It is hard to understand how the Mehlville School District, which would lead us to believe that it is one of the best school districts in the area, has only six schools out of all its elementary, middle and high schools that achieved annual proficiency targets for 2010 in the No Child Left Be-hind program.

However, a greater concern should be about Superintendent Terry Noble’s comments regarding the district’s performance that were included in the article. His comments betray an irresponsible and cavalier attitude.

Superintendent Noble states, “… (B)ut to have that impossible standard that every child has to be ‘above-average’ breeds disrespect and contempt for the process …”

I believe that the NCLB program requires that all students and school districts achieve 100-percent proficiency by 2014 and not “above-average” proficiency. This appears to be an exaggeration on the superintendent’s part. Why is meeting an ‘above-average’ rating impossible? This goal is relative to the NCLB program and does not necessarily have anything to do with how students relate or compare to each other. Superintendent Noble obviously believes he is ‘above-average’ in his salary negotiations.

The superintendent goes on to say, “I JUST (emphasis added) encourage the staff to continue to do their very best.”

His statement is hardly a goal and does not provide an example of good leadership. A leader would be providing a plan for improvement and instruction to staff that the district will accomplish his plan and the staff will be part of it.

He does not even state that he has a plan to bring the district in compliance with the NCLB program. If he does, he missed a real opportunity to get the plan in the newspaper article. Finally, why should the taxpayers of the Mehlville School District approve an 88-cent tax increase when its superintendent has such a mediocre attitude and lack of goals?

George R. Schillinger