Last November the Community Advocate printed a long, front-page article about Shrewsbury's schools, including extensive comments from the school superintendent and a chart showing Shrewsbury's student/teacher ratio as 21 to 1. I knew immediately that this ratio was wrong, and ???I pointed this error out in a letter that was printed December 6. Evidently the school department did not ask the Community Advocate to print a correction.
In February I followed up with a school official, and on March 6 he confirmed that Shrewsbury had indeed reported the wrong number of teachers to the state Department of Education. The correct number was 360, and the ratio was only 16.7 to 1. At the selectmen's public hearing on March 18, I presented this reporting error along with others. The superintendent replied by saying that he wished I had contacted him about the error in November.
Another media outlet has since quoted the superintendent as saying that “The error … was brought to the attention of school officials last fall.” Yet override proponents have been quoting the incorrect student/teacher ratio for months, and school officials did not publicly correct this misinformation. School officials should not expect broad community support if they cannot provide accurate and complete information to the public.