Included in today’s Madison Courier is a special section featuring the Annual School Performance Reports.

The state has mandated that school performance information be published in local newspapers every year. In the past, The Courier has printed the reports in the newspaper’s classified advertising section.

This year, the reports are packaged in a special section to make it easier to navigate the information and to - we hope - draw more attention to how our local public schools are performing.

On Page A1 of today’s Courier, readers will find stories about the Madison and Southwestern school corporations. Administrators from Jefferson County’s two largest school districts share their analysis of the information.

In a message to readers printed in the special section, Madison Courier Publisher Curt Jacobs wrote that “we believe that local school performance is a critical component of a strong community.  We want this information to be prominent, clearly presented, and hope that many citizens read this information for themselves.

“We hope this expanded format is easier to use and understand, and that you find this information a useful tool in evaluating the performance of local public schools.”

We encourage community members - whether or not they have children in school - to join the dialogue about education in the community.

Children are our most precious resource, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to give them the best chance of becoming successful adults. The best way to do that is to provide them with creative, intelligent and proven ways to make learning enjoyable and rewarding.

What’s good for our children will ultimately be good for the future of our community.