The recent article on Eagle Heights Academy entitled, "Soaring Higher" glowed with the hiring of a new principal and superintendent, the soaring enrollment and the extensive waiting list for potential students for the state's largest charter school. One must ask "Why?"
Possibly the answer lies in the community's perception that Eagle Heights provides a safer environment than Youngstown public schools. Maybe it lies in unfilled dreams of an improved academic environment. While standardized scores don't tell anywhere near the whole story, they are one way of comparing results between schools. Educational quality, utilizing testing scores as a benchmark, indicates that Eagle Heights fares even worse than Youngstown public schools. This fact was tagged onto the article "2 percent of Eagle Heights' fourth-graders and 1 percent of sixth-graders past all parts of the proficiency test on the 2001 state report card. In comparison, the passage rate was 7.7 percent for city public school fourth-graders and 12.1 percent for sixth-graders." Having come from a business background, I am used to looking at results. When results are lacking those pesky "why?" questions naturally occur, particularly when tax dollars are being spent. Offering that the students attending have been academically deprived begs the question especially when the school has had three years to impact the students for the fourth-grade testing and make up any shortfalls. Offering that the children are from the city also avoids the quality issue when we have a shining example of New Hope Academy which draws from the very same student base, has children that face the very same issues as many of Eagle Heights, yet test scores are significantly higher than either Youngstown's public or chartered school. Safety is important for our children. A loving, supportive environment is important for our children and both should be givens in any school, public or private. But, the bottom line is this: quality education is the raison d'etre of any school. Here's the really tough question, "Why aren't Eagle Heights' parents holding the administration, teachers and staff responsible and demanding that which their children deserve, a quality education as well safe and loving environment?"
The Rev. ROBERT F. SCHONHOLTZ
Green Beaver Road isa lighter shade of gray
A few months ago our road was "paved." In the 18 years I've lived on Green Beaver Road, I have never seen it paved, although it has needed it badly. Each year a crew would throw down cold patch usually at the beginning of winter. With patches here and there, we had a rough road. The best way to drive on our road was in the middle. So, we finally get the road paved. Guess what? It is now rougher! Now we have new holes, gaps, humps, bumps, and strips of blacktop!
Western Reserve Road (west of Rt. 62) was paved. Beautiful job! I also noticed Gault Road was paved, complete with center and edge lines. Beautiful job! Cook Road was paved with a close to beautiful job.
The residents on Green Beaver Road get a road-grader job! Guess what? There are bar treads left in the pavement. Last week, a crew threw down more cold patch.
Regularly we pay our taxes. I believe Mahoning County owes a refund to the residents on Green Beaver Road for the lousy road-grader job in place of a smoothly paved road.
Some enchanted evening
How lucky can I get? My visit in New Castle coincided with the Glass Harp concert in Mill Creek Park.
Thank you to everyone who was responsible for a wonderful evening.
JOAN VIMMERSTEDT CLARKE