Shamefully ever since the Swift Boat debate over whether presidential candidate John Kerry really deserved his Purple Heart, now when I see a Purple Heart license tag I wonder the same about them, did they really deserve the Purple Heart; I certainly hope so.  Again I say shamefully, but the image of the Swift Boatdebate over Kerry remains in my mind. What an awful thing to do to a veteran who offered his life for this country.  

The same image is in my mind over the recent release of Delaware school test scores showing an improvement in reading and math. I’d like to think our students are improving, but in light of what I had heard this year from parents and a few teachers where the kids were asked not to perform on the first state test and had answers for the second test to boost test scores is stilkl embedded in my mind.

I realize all schools don’t do that and I’m not pointing fingers. Like with Kerry the image is in my mind. I don’t like the system for testing. I think too much emphasis is put on scores, and the teachers don’t have time to teach kids other subjects or facts of life. We have lost the basics in teaching our kids; too much academic.



  1. John F. Kennedy said (or is said to have said), “As long as there are tests in school, there will be prayer in school.” I would add, “and also cheating.” If a similar level of cheating takes place each year then the change in results from year to year are not particularly affected. “This is a test. It is only a test….” Education is difficult to measure–a written test is only one tool–not good to fixate on it, but it appears that’s what we do….

  2. Just to jog your memory. The debate wasn’t about whether Kerry deserved a Purple Heart. It was about whether he had earned a third purple heart that would qualify him to get out of the combat zone and a number of other issues. When it comes down to who was closest to the truth I went with George and his Swiftboat friends. Not even sure why you would want to bring that up in the context of of school test scores.

  3. I choose to let this be a positive thing with no room for skepticism in the thought process. Although I did not graduate form Laurel, my children did and barring no unforseen circumstances my grandchildren will as well.

  4. It would be reasonable to assume that if the scores are favorable for your school then you would believe the scores. If they are not favorable to your school you would not believe the scores.

  5. Why is it that when the scores are negative we never question their validity? We simply use the negative scores as “proof” that teachers aren’t doing their jobs and kids aren’t learning. However, positive scores are never viewed as “proof” of good teaching and learning. This community seems to only embrace a negative perspective of our school, despite any positive achievement. As the 10th grade teacher at LHS, i can assure you that those students truly earned the scores they recieved, and those scores represent their hard work, dedication, and success. Can’t we just celebrate that?

    • why is it nobody ever gets on that bankwagon tiesha? the staff (the most important ingredient except for the kids) always ends up with the short end of the stick. how wonderful it would be if someone was in charge of getting positive comments to the paper. it was tried before, but many felt laurel didn’t get the press release that our neighboring towns got. wouldn’t it be great to have a billboard in town that would display positive things going on in the various schools, even if it was just an example of how the positive affirmations have worked.

  6. Right on, Tiesha! Laurel is continually raped of some of it’s better children by surrounding school districts yet still produces good, solid scores. Kudos to the teachers for this. Those schools have not yet ripped out our heart or spirit !!!!!

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