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Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor

Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

December 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Seattle test scores reveal gap between African American and black immigrant students

Posted by Letters editor

Focus on each student individually

Editor, The Times:

The news of yet another gap in test scores from Seattle Public Schools was alarming, although not in the sense suggested by The Times’ article. [“‘Alarming’ new gap discovered in Seattle test scores,” page one, Dec. 19.]

I find it alarming that the school district continues slicing and dicing data rather than focusing, as good teachers do, on the progress of individual students.

Seattle’s teachers work hard to determine the abilities of their students, target instruction and build students’ skills maximally. However, some students get a boost because their families can provide an environment that greatly stimulates academic learning. Other families are less able to do so. Educational effort and focus should be directed toward raising all students to their potential, rather that comparing apples to oranges.

If comparisons are necessary, compare the starting point and ending point for each student, not the group.

— Julee Neuhart, Seattle

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