Did the editor (Our Opinion: “Charter school plan for Hinckley gets good grade,” July 22) read Maine’s charter school law?

Charter schools are public, open to all students. You accused Baxter Academy of being “elitist.”Not so. All students who wish to attend this STEM school (science, technology, engineering and math) will be accepted.

There may be many reasons for the wording, “best and brightest.” Many students aren’t being challenged to any science and math beyond text- books. Our nation’s math and science standings are dismal. You only have to look at the high percentage of foreigners who are sitting in the seats of Maine science and math graduate programs, not our students.

Maine’s dropout rate, the percentage of college students taking remedial courses and the percentage of students who drop out after a year is dismal. Even Maine’s Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the educational ability of Maine’s students. Their skills do not match the job requirements.

Limestone’s magnet school was opposed with the same arguments used against charter schools: It will be elitist, be a brain drain, public schools will have no money nor motivated students. Well, this did not happen. Most of the students who attend that school are smart but don’t fit into their high schools.

Baxter Academy charter school will open with students with a variety of academic levels and needs. Charter schools have a high level of accountability and are monitored frequently, which, for all their funding, does not exist for public schools.

As for Cornville, one needs only to read its 650-page application to see that its curriculum includes educational innovations and vision different from area public elementary schools. Yes, there are hurdles to resolve, but Cornville is a pioneer for rural educational choices throughout Maine. A good beginning.

Cheryl Clukey


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