News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Decatur schools’ test scores key to growth

To The Daily: Eric Fleischauer’s Sept. 30 article “Test scores hurting economy” should be required reading for anyone interested in Decatur’s growth and vitality. Just ask Decatur real estate agents or homebuilders, competing with surrounding communities to lure homebuyers, the reason they attribute for slow-to-no growth. “Decatur’s lagging test scores” will be mentioned as a factor, if not the critical factor, as the explanation given by those newcomers who do not pick Decatur to be their new home.

For too long, this issue has been in the background, discussed typically behind closed doors. Or else, the relatively low test scores are somehow justified due to the poverty statistics as cited in Mr. Fleisch-auer’s article. Yet we know other communities have successfully overcome similar issues. We can do the same. In order to do so, the subject deserves to be in the open and at the forefront of our discussion.

Our community must use all deliberate speed to improve the objective criteria for which others evaluate us, if Decatur is to grow and prosper. Although it is easy to be distracted by the issue of the day, such as the recently passed ordinance banning indoor smoking — such ordinances will have little relevance to the business owner who finds he has fewer and fewer customers to serve.

Gregory A. Reeves
Decatur

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