To the Editor:

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education seems to be focused on assessment. This is a necessary component but certainly should not be the main focus.

It really does not matter how many times you weigh the pig it will not get any fatter until you feed it.

Good education speaks for itself. Assessment is an outcome not the purpose. We do not buy our cars so we can change the oil and we do not run schools to give state assessments.

Schools with good parents, safe supportive communities and good educators will have significant accomplishments. The real answer is in the dynamic relationship of parents and community members with our youth.

Look at the lowest functioning schools in the state and then look at those communities.

The answer is simple: fix the communities and you fix the schools.