Letters to the Editor

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EDUCATION: Students need to master content

Letter by Colin Guthrie, Puyallup on Dec. 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm with 7 Comments »
December 23, 2011 3:35 pm

Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Darrell Johnston wrote (letter, 12-22) that his school has a proficiency rating of 79.6 in math for grades one through five. I question his standard of proficiency when his school scores lower on tests that cover state-mandated learning objectives and the failure rate of his students when they reach middle school, where they are required to know basic facts in core subjects.

In my mind, proficiency should be consistent with mastery of concepts where the accuracy rate is over 80 percent or, in terms of a grade, a 2.0 grade-point average or a C or better. His score is below the standard of 80 percent; so, in sense, the school still fails.

I do know that the Tacoma School District allows students to pass with a .050 GPA or a D-.

I think all students should be required to achieve a minimum standard of 80 percent or a C grade for all concepts being taught.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    I agree 100%. This won’t happen until we decertify the unions and privatize some schools so the unions are forced to compete.

    It is their biggest fear because it will expose them for the sham they are. Wake up people these unions are destroying the lives of your kids and the American economy.

    Go to netflix and rent “Waiting for Superman”. The unions don’t want you to watch this. It exposes them as the main reason we can’t reform schools in this country.

  2. cclngthr says:

    I have Waiting for Superman on my computer already. Have watched the movie several times.

    As a teacher, I feel it is very important to uphold to an industry standard which requires competency in subject matter of its employees.

  3. ReadNLearn says:

    The WEA is one of the worse problems for children in this state.

  4. cclngthr says:

    What we need to do is a couple things:

    1. Mandate a grade configuration that requires any grade below an 80% as failure and this grade cannot be changed. The only option is to retake the course.

    2. Use industry standards businesses and colleges use for proficiency of workers and students. If a college uses prerequisites, the K12 system also needs to require that as well. Business and industries require minimum standards of proficiency of workers, where minimum criteria for knowledge is used.

  5. cclngthr says:

    I do think if businesses require proficiency standards, they should require those same proficiency standards of the school system. If that profiency standard changes, the school system is responsible to see that the new changes are upheld to that new standard.

  6. Taxed,

    Public schools already compete against private school.

    Unions don’t teach are run classrooms.

  7. commoncents says:

    taxed – I find it ironic that you use Waiting for Superman as a reason to rid the country of teachers unions when that movie compares our educational system to that of Finlands where…wait for it…wait for it….the teachers are UNIONIZED AND HAVE TENURE!

    Further, you often talk about privatization and charter schools but you won’t acknowledge that only 17% of charter schools perform better than their public school counterparts with twice that amount actually perform lower than the public schools. Not a good comparison by any measure!

    Look – you want high quality scientists, engineers, and doctors? Pay them more!!! Why would the brilliant students of today go into those fields when the average pay AND long-term future in the finance industry is so significantly higher? Why would “the market” suddenly not work when it comes to this arena?

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