We are letting our most valuable resource fail

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Dear Editor,

If you have paid any attention to the procedings of the Glendive School Board over the past six months, then you must have heard the phrase, “Excellence in Education.” However, little factual data have been submitted to clarify the phrase.

U.S. News and World Report has recently released its analysis of 17,792 schools across the country, for the 2019-2020 school year. Eighty-three high schools were evaluated in Montana, and if you look for Dawson County High School, it will return, “61-83.” When I asked the Dawson County Superintendent of Schools what “61-83” means, she told me, “Sixty-First of Eighty Three.”

Upon further investigation, I found that U.S. News and World Report only ranks the top three-quarters of the schools, and that the bottom quarter is listed alphabetically. So, “61-83” really means “no better than 61st and no worse than 83rd among Montana High Schools. Dawson County High School must rank higher than 80th; the bottom four receive very special state attention!

To me, “61-83” does NOT represent “Excellence in Education!” Furthermore, this is not a “COVID” phenomenon. The 2018-2019 analysis also showed “61-83.”

Catch phrases like “Excellence in Education,” are nice, but they need to be backed by effort and a plan for action. In my gut, I doubt that DCHS students are “61-83.”

But the numbers don’t lie; they tell me that the community, the school board, and the Glendive Education Association are letting our students...our most valuable resource...fail.

For me, a taxpayer and grandfather, this needs to be the first item on every school board agenda until it is remedied!


Jon Fitch