Friday, May 1, 1998

Are we getting value for our high school dollar?

To the Editor:

The April 1998 issue of Boston Magazine contains an article "Our Towns, Our Schools," listing 1997 average SAT scores and 1997 expenditures per student for Massachusetts high schools. In terms of average SAT scores, the top five schools and their expenditures are:

Weston 1196 $8027

Acton-Boxboro 1179 $6374

Wayland 1176 $6613

Concord-Carlisle 1173 $10,499

Lexington 1172 $7116

The striking aspect of these figures is the extraordinarily high cost of giving Concord-Carlisle High School students one of the best Massachusetts public high school educations. That cost per student ($10,499) is the highest among 130 towns. It is 36 percent higher than the average ($7726) for the top five schools, although CCHS is essentially at the bottom of that short list. The CCHS expenditure is 50 percent higher than the average, ($7018) spent by the 18 Massachusetts high schools whose average SAT score exceeds 1100. It would appear that Concord-Carlisle has exceeded the point of diminishing return.

Mike Sturgeon

Blaisdell Drive