Dear Editor, No ranking list for VT high schools

Vermont does not have a ranking list for its high schools. No such animal exists on the Agency of Education website, though one year of the statewide SBAC test results can be found. “At least three years of test results are needed to analyze trends, according to Michael Hock, the Agency of Education’s director of assessment.” That’s especially important when analyzing the results for small schools where one very bright student or one very disadvantaged student can make a big difference.

Vermont Digger analyzed the latest data and noted that the best performing schools had 12 percent or less students taking free or reduced price lunch, an indicator of poverty. The data also revealed that poorly performing schools had more special education students. “Teachers at the highest performing schools had an average salary of $65,000 while those at the other end of the spectrum were paid an average of $52,000.”

There are too many factors to be able to say one school is number 10, 20 or whatever. Mill River sends kids to prestigious colleges. Black River sends kids to prestigious colleges. One of Mill River’s strengths is its drama program. One of Black River’s strengths is its Special Ed programs.

Maybe the most obvious difference is pointed out on the vote yes poster with its yellow school bus filled with smiling chubby faces. Vote yes and we are guaranteed to have our children spending three to four or more hours each day riding on a bus. Get after school help? Nope, ride the bus. Walk to Dorsey Park for a game? Nope, ride the bus. Three to four hours a day… ride the bus!


Carol Ballou

Belmont, Vt.


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