In response to your editorial "Worth Cheering About," May 3:
Despite all the self-praise we accept for Marshall High and now Taft High, there is one obvious flaw that is always hidden in the fine print (of the original article, Metro, May 2). This Academic Decathlon is neither a measure of the overall quality of the academic program of the school nor of its best students. To pick out a few at various performance levels and work like crazy for a year to memorize a lot of facts is almost the antithesis of a quality program.
Either compare the best with the best (if academic excellence is the goal) or randomly sample the students shortly before the exam, perhaps even drawing a new team at each level of competition (if overall quality is to be compared). My preference would be the latter and likewise to follow a similar plan for athletic competition (where we currently emphasize nothing but excellence).
The athletic equivalent of picking some A students, some B students, and some C students to represent the school making up the football team would raise a few eyebrows. My high school senior son put it succinctly, "Save a couple of spots on the team for math geeks."