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I believe the letter from Meeker High School Principal Kim Ibach in your Feb. 27 edition requires a response.
Mrs. Ibach presented herself as “Doctor” to the interview committees when she applied for the position as principal of Meeker High School last summer. That misrepresentation very likely prejudiced the hiring decision in her favor. Since her appointment, she introduced herself to staff and students as “Doctor,” used the title in her representations to the public and the title remains on high school letterhead.
She has acknowledged that she was mistaken to use the title and that she was reprimanded by Pepperdine University for doing so.
Normally, misrepresentation of a title would result in substantial penalties, especially in cases of military and professional credentials, but also in academia.
Those of us who worked long and hard to complete the requirements for a degree — and for that matter anyone who qualifies for a license, certification or other title — might take exception to Mrs. Ibach’s claim that “It’s only a formality” and her dismissal that a title is “Not something I live by or enforce.”
By her logic, we might as well just hand our juniors their high school diplomas, trusting that they will by and by finish the work required in the senior year.
Mrs. Ibach’s misrepresentation of title credentials is only part of the concern. During the application process, at presentations to the Meeker School Board and in presentations to the high school staff, she has claimed outstanding achievements at her previous employment in North Carolina, including remarkable and continuing improvement in test scores at a struggling school.
Those claims do not hold up. In fact, scores on North Carolina End of Course tests and SAT scores at her school dropped during her tenure. Mrs. Ibach has previously indicated that ACT scores dropped at that school also.
Finally, Mrs. Ibach labels Meeker High School as a “failing school,” requiring implementation of her “continuous improvement model” in order to succeed.
This is mythology. Certainly, there is room for improvement, but Mrs. Ibach is comparing apples to oranges in her report of ACT scores. As documented in Calvin Shepherd’s article, which you vetted and published in the Herald Times edition on Jan. 16, and as documented also by data published by the Colorado Department of Education, Meeker High School ranks in the top 25 percent of all high schools statewide, based on a variety of measures including test scores, and we rank in the top few among high schools with similar demographics.
(There are many other issues that should be investigated related to the present “test and punish” system of education, with inordinate time devoted to standardized tests at the expense of learning, and I hope you might address those issues in your pages in the future.)
Among the mantras in education today is that education practice should be “evidence based.”
I hope your readers will take a close look at actual evidence. I have provided you with documentation for the statements above, and I hope you will share that documentation with your readers.
Bob Dorsett, MD