I admire the students featured in your article about MSSM in Limestone on May 5; they seem to thrive in a collaborative environment where grades and brinksmanship are not necessarily determinative of success. However, I was bothered by parts of the article.

MSSM bills itself as a unique public school with opportunities that simply aren’t available elsewhere, despite other specialized public schools like Casco Bay High School and PATHS, which do not require room and board. The description seems inadequate, and it leads to other questions:

How does the school attract students from different economic backgrounds — including those where a $9,300 bill every year is prohibitive — and help those students succeed?

What does the “diversity” look like? The article doesn’t discuss the demographic or economic composition, only the assertion that the students are, in fact, diverse.

How does MSSM foster excellence and wellbeing in their students? The article describes “a laid-back feel” where “no one is likely to get caught fighting in the halls or vaping,” and where “classmates who get in trouble usually end up leaving.”

It sounds as if MSSM students make no mistakes and, when they do, receive no support. That shouldn’t be the case for the country’s second best school. If it is, then what does that say about the ranking system?

The article shows that students at MSSM already meet certain standards. The measure of a successful school should be about how they prepare all students to make positive, meaningful contributions to society. This article left me wondering how the school supports its students, not how the students support the national ranking.

Joshua Denk


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