Get real Clark story

We are writing in response to your article "Stigmatized: Clark Elementary's failing grade" [News, July 22, 2004]. Because of the SOL scores of four kids and the draconian standards put in place by No Child Left Behind, the Bush government has branded Clark as failing. (For all we know, the failing scores might have come down to one or two incorrect answers.)

And so the Hook gets after this education story, and Lisa Provence devotes most of her piece to interviewing a woman whose children have never attended the school. Why not report the views of parents whose children do attend Clark? (If this reporter were writing a piece on, say, the journalistic deficiencies of the Hook, would she interview writers only at C-ville Weekly?)

If Provence had dug a little deeper, she would have learned that most of Clark's low-income students did, in fact, pass the SOLs this year– some with flying colors; that Clark's teachers are fully capable of differentiating instruction and the school's parents know and celebrate this; and most significant, that under Art Stow's extraordinary leadership, Clark has, by several measures, made greater progress in recent years than any other school in our system.

That story would have educated all of us about what is really going on at Clark.

Jenny and Karl Ackerman

[In fairness to the reporter, I must note that her story contained extensive views from a current Clark parent, the head of the PTO.–editor]