On Nov. 8, the newspaper’s headline read, “Maine students above national average in math, reading.”

In math, Maine students were 47 percent better than the national average. In reading, Maine students were 37 percent better than the national average.

Is there anyone besides myself looking at this and saying, “What’s wrong with us?”

Anyway I look at this I see terrible results in both, but Rachelle Tome, Maine’s top academic officer (whatever that is) said, “It’s good that Maine did well nationally”.

What? Surely you jest. If Tome is happy with these results, she should be fired.

I see nothing to be proud of in these results.

We have built bigger schools, bought the latest books and spent the majority of my taxes on our school systems to give our children the best, and this is the outcome?

How many children graduate from school not knowing how to read or write properly? How many children graduate from school not knowing how to do basic arithmetic?

Have children lived with their parents for 18 years, and somehow their parents didn’t notice that their children were not capable of performing these simple things?

Did they read to their children or help them in difficult areas of studies? Did they go to teacher/parent conferences? Did they look at their children’s report cards? Did they get special tutoring for their children if they needed it?

Would they admit they failed their children, or would they just continue to blame the teachers?

Would they like to know what children know? Allow me into any local high school or college with permission from proper authorities, and I’ll ask students at random, with anonymity, simple questions. What do think my results would be?

Mark PantermollerFairfield