Time to address education problems

Published 8:40 pm Thursday, January 6, 2011

To the editor:

Some people might wonder why I am concerned with public schools’ dumbing-down our students, since I don’t have any school-aged children.

I am concerned, because I am a great grandmother, and I have great grandchildren who will be attending schools in the next 4 to 6 years.

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When I read last week that one in four students cannot pass the military entrance examination, this scared me for the future of all our children. When we read that many other countries are more stringent in their testing and teaching their children, this gives me cause for concern.

If students are not learning to read, spell, do math, understand sciences and care for their bodies, how are they going to survive the possibility of other countries taking control of Americans?

Dumbing down our students by lowering the grading standards was and is a grave mistake. I believe that huge school buildings and children who do not have the benefit of a loving mother and father are also to blame for the problem.

Teaching children begins the day they are born. It does not stop until they are finished with college. It is a sad mistake that high schools are graduating youngsters who are not properly trained to care for their bodies. How will they know how to cope with all the “fallen persons” who walk the streets daily looking for a handout, not having a place to live, not keeping their bodies clean, not having the proper food to keep their bodies healthy? No wonder the health system is overrun with people who do not abide by good health choices.

Our children are not to blame for their problems. Parents are to blame. Our churches may not be doing enough to teach children about learning and caring for their bodies. Teaching abstinence certainly seems a way to stop the births of children without the benefit of loving parents.

Our public school teachers strive daily to maintain classrooms conducive to learning. The government has come out with strict laws that impinge on the time needed to teach the lessons children are supposed to learn at certain grade levels.

I believe that children with learning disabilities should be placed in special schools so they do not detract from the time teachers need to spend teaching children who have no learning disabilities. Any child, no matter what the disability, will function better with children who have similar learning problems.

I hope and pray that our School Board, superintendents, and teachers will meet and iron out some of the problems that exist and will return to “quality education for all our students,” not just passing along students who cannot prove what they already have learned.

Mary Grace Garner-Atkins