As a young, passionate teacher, I was dismayed to read Gov. Paul LePage’s comments that students from Maine are looked down upon (July 24).

Last year, I was privileged to spend my first year of teaching with a group of hard-working and innovative fourth-graders in Augusta, and I frequently shared with them news articles that pertained to their education.

These conversations led to a tremendous sense of reality and empowerment when it came to my young scholars becoming more invested in their own education.

The governor’s comments would be a devastating blow for my fourth-grade scholars to come across, where they would see their state leader quoted with such little faith in Maine’s public schools.

Teachers, students and schools are working incredibly hard. Yes, student achievement rates in Maine are low, but Maine can be touted for maintaining consistently high standards, whereas other states are lowering standards to inflate an appearance of increasing achievement rates.

Every day my team of young scholars and I make a point to communicate about our commitment to education, and every day our actions reflect our beliefs. We use the famous Maine work ethic all year through to build our character and our brain so that as citizens of the United States, we can serve as glowing reflections of the state of Maine.

Maine students have nothing to be ashamed of, and to belittle the quality of education in Maine is nothing but disheartening and unrealistic.

My young students and I are extremely proud to be scholars in Maine, and I can assure you that Maine’s young scholars can — and will — change this world, lest we ever communicate to them otherwise.

Susan Muzzy

Augusta

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