Letter: Sports stories overwhelm classroom achievement

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I enjoy reading the Northern Forecaster and keeping up on what’s going on in my neighborhood. However, last week you disappointed me in a terrible display of distorted values. You printed a 2-inch story announcing the names of 11 students who are semifinalists in the National Merit Scholars program. You do not even explain what this means. It means that these students from our local high schools received top scores on their Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Tests. The tests are taken by 1.5 million students; so to be at the top is pretty special. These students’ performance on the test reflects their years of being hard-working students. It also means they will receive scholarship money from the U.S. government and from numerous corporations.

But this doesn’t seem important to you. I should think you would have taken their pictures and interviewed them. Instead, you devoted four pages, with colored illustrations, to sports stories. Surely, sports are an important part of a well-rounded education, but are they the most important part? That’s what your policy baldly says. I’m afraid it represents a popular view.

I would also like to see stories of students who are musicians, actors, and artists. What about those who excel in math and science and those who devote hours to community service? Let’s hear about them.

Isabel Denham