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Letter to the Editor: Something is wrong at AAHS

To the editor:

I read in the Echo (Sept. 5) that Alexandria Public Schools received high marks on the education report card. At first I thought that was really great until my wife pointed out how the high school students performed. I'm sure many people were just like me and didn't read through the entire article.

There were three school districts where they showed achievement percentages, Alexandria, Osakis and Brandon-Evansville. All seemed to do well compared to the state averages, but when you look at the math and reading scores for each district, Alexandria Area High School failed. In math, the state average is 56.2 percent and Alexandria scored 45.5 percent, Osakis scored 63.5 percent and Brandon-Evansville scored 56 percent. In reading, the state average is 59.2 percent and Alex scored 59.1 percent, Osakis 61.7 percent and Brandon-Evansville 62.1 percent.

When people pushed to build the $73 million new school, they said that the students couldn't get the education required in the rundown facility called Jefferson High School. Now we have this showcase facility and athletic complex and low test scores. Obviously, the elementary and middle schools in District 206 are doing something right because they are meeting or exceeding the state average.

It doesn't take a new school and a super athletic complex to teach our kids; it takes good teachers and a staff that supports them. Something is wrong at Alexandria Area High School when only 45 percent meet state standards in math. I'm surprised this article didn't highlight that issue, but instead everything is hidden behind entire district numbers. I thought high school was suppose to get kids ready for college or the working world, how can they do that when 55 percent can't pass the math requirements? It's no wonder we are falling behind the rest of the world in academics.

Rod Johnson

Alexandria MN