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Superintendent's Message

Thomas O'Brien - Superintendent of Schools

Thomas O'Brien - Superintendent of Schools
607-326-4151 , ext. 15
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April Newsletter


"Never Discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”



Recently you received a letter from me regarding the importance of encouraging your child to take the NYS 3-8 examinations. The other day I was speaking to a friend that is not connected with the world of education and I told him about the dilemma of test refusal in our schools. He looked at me with a shocked expression and in disbelief, not understanding the circumstances. I explained the depth of the controversy and what had led to it and it did not dissuade him from believing that the issue holds merit for one simple reason: It’s a lesson that can have very negative effects on our children when preparing them for life’s future challenges. This person is a successful physician that served as an EMT and paramedic before finally studying to get into medical school. We live in a world of test taking from getting your driver’s license, to getting into college and graduate school or further into one’s education. And if you are not college bound, you have to take a test to get into the military or to attain a number of professional or trade-based credentials. The measures developed by NYS have been flawed but they have shown improvements. It is vital that our students learn to function in the world of accountability and evaluation. On a personal note I am in the process of recertifying my NYS Emergency Medical Technician credential and for that credential the minimum competency to pass the written exam is 70%. I do not know about you but what about the potential 30% you could fail and still hold that credential? I personally think that 70% is a ridiculous average to pass an exam that measures one’s ability to save another person’s life but I continue to recertify and if I wish to continue to hold that credential to serve my community, I will sit and take the test.  I hope you will think about these analogies and understand the merit of quality evaluation and its preparation for our children into having a successful future.

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map     53729 State Highway 30 | Roxbury, NY 12474
P: 607.326.4151
F: 607.326.4154
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