Maryland released its first star ratings for every public school Tuesday, with results that showed 70 percent of schools earned three or four stars out of five.

I am responding to the recent article, “Anne Arundel schools lose points” (Dec. 15). According to the article, the reason many schools lost points on the newly-released Maryland star rating system was due to their apparent lack of data for a “well rounded” education. The data required was from a fifth grade health curriculum. This is yet another example of our state school board’s failure to fully recognize what a well-rounded education means.

There was no recognition of the EEE (Enhancing Elementary Excellence) program in many of our elementary schools. This worthy program exposes our children to arts and humanities, STEM, global studies and early International Baccalaureate programs! Let’s also include many of the worthwhile art, music and dance programs throughout the county. How about the signature programs in the areas of business, security and medical fields that have been initiated in our high schools?

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The state’s basis of a well-rounded education is seriously flawed when its data exists on a single program. More importantly, it devalues those teachers and programs that are outside of the prescribed academic curriculum. This report card data requires a revision to reconsider what a well-rounded education means or it should be discarded.

Melva Sunday, Severna Park

The writer is a retired teacher with Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

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