Meeting Goals

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We are impressed with the vigor Dr. John Gratto appears to be bringing to his new job as superintendent of Sag Harbor Schools. To come up with a list of 17 goals, which he delivered in his first superintendent’s report to the school board Monday night, sends a message that he wants to set the school of in a particular direction.

One of the goals has us a bit concerned, however. While we appreciate the idea of imagining qualities and abilities for all Pierson graduates, we worry that it might become too easy to actually begin imposing this ideal on all the students, regardless of their abilities.

We understand that this is proposed to be a tool to measure the necessity of programs designed to work toward this profile of an ideal Pierson grad, but we wonder how the success of this model will ultimately be measured. Will the success of the programs be measured by how many Pierson grads meet the profile? If so, will students be molded and tested and steered to meet the profile, regardless of their abilities or inclinations?

Students are already expected to meet standards set by the state every time they take Regents exams or standardized tests. And the time a teacher takes to prepare a student for one of those tests is time taken away from treating that student as an individual, with his or her individual issues. While we are sure the intent of the Pierson graduate profile is intended to ensure the proper programs are in place to give our students a well-rounded education, we worry that we may end up striving to have all of our students meet the same goals.

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