Letter: Don’t forget kids
I don’t normally express my thoughts and feeling in this kind of a forum; however, I feel that the recent letters in the newspapers regarding school board members warranted my input. Have we forgotten who is most important here?
Our children are!
Our very bright middle school and high school students spend their time from 2:30 p.m. until after midnight every night locked in their rooms doing the mountain of assignments that are given them. Many gifted students are also considering avoiding the honors and Advanced Placement classes because of the workload involved. They can earn the same or even a better grade in normal classes and gain the grade point average needed for quality universities or the millennium scholarship.
Then, there are our special education students. Our middle school and high school students used to be integrated into all of their classes. This changed with the competencies. Parents of special education students are now urged to sign a form which allows the district to give them an adjusted diploma at graduation. This has been done as early as a student’s sophomore year! In my opinion, this eliminates the need for the district to worry about these students meeting its competency levels and, thus, quality learning ceases. Also, learning disabled students are now “tracked” and put in classes where up to half of the students in each of their classes could also have a learning disability.
I think we need accountability, and I’m not saying that the competencies are necessarily bad, but we have forgotten about giving an appropriate, fair and equal education to all of our students. The competency expectancy levels tie the hands of our teachers. They need some way of dealing with students who are at all of the different competency levels. Think of it as building a house. Middle school and high school teachers are trying to finish building a “district house design” with students who haven’t had their foundation built yet!
Educators want to provide the high quality education that this district was once known for. We need board members who care about all of our children and are willing to listen to all stakeholders’ thoughts and opinions.