Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: schools


SCHOOLS: PC brought us to today’s unrest

Re: “Racial disparities reflected in state school districts’ discipline rates” (TNT, 6-8).

Rationalizing the aberrant behavior of ethnic minority youth as reflections of their subcultures is a poor strategy for effective teaching. It is also an insult to ethnic families who are law-abiding citizens.

Appropriate behavioral standards for all are necessary for student learning and well-being. Anything that disrupts this environment should not be tolerated, no matter what the excuse.

The 1940s and ’50s, although focused on individual rights and responsibilities, were thought to have been too rigid, judgmental and biased against minorities. This exclusion from full citizenship was

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SCHOOLS: Don’t blame schools for parents’ failures

Re: “Schools failing poor kids before they arrive for class” (TNT, 2-23).

I am a retired teacher from California, and this article hit close to home. I taught at a Title 1 school where we had to provide free and reduced meals. At the beginning of the school year, paperwork went home to verify the need for this. There were no checks and balances for these free meals.

A lot of the paperwork came back with an “X” for the signature. Right there that told me that the student was starting off poorly.

My experience was that kids who got

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TAXES: Pay attention to school funding bill

Re: “County property taxes climb by 7.7%” (TNT, 2-16).

Thanks for explaining why our property taxes are increasing at a rapid rate. It’s important for Pierce County residents to know there are costly consequences, even for renters, to approving levies and bonds for many public services.

Property tax increases have reached a level of taxpayer generosity resulting in less support of levies and bonds in parts of Pierce County and the state. The Feb. 10 special election in 35 counties had 131 levies and bonds on the ballot. Some important school bonds and maintenance and operation levies failed because voters are

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EDUCATION: Yes, our schools ARE failing

Re: “‘Failing schools’ letter to include angry p.s.” (TNT, 8-14).

By law, many of our schools must now inform parents that their child’s school is failing, but in the same breath, they contradict and deny it.

Our schools are failing. It doesn’t take a federal standardized test to prove that. Employers see it. Colleges see it. Even the Army sees it.

Teachers see it. I taught high school math, and it was rare to find a student who could multiply without a calculator. Their math skills were nonexistent, but I was compelled to teach the standard program, regardless of

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SCHOOLS: Article offers a valuable lesson

Re: “Drifting toward hope” (Parade magazine, 8-10).

This is an article teachers (middle school through grade 12) might read to their students on the first day of class and periodically thereafter.

Life can be very difficult and present enormous challenges. That a family of six children starting with nothing more than the clothing on their backs could achieve such a remarkable scholastic record is almost too much to believe.

I know that our schools are unequally “blessed,” but even the poorest of our schools afford the student more than what that one family had.


SCHOOLS: Reinforce classic American culture

Non-Hispanic whites will no longer make up a majority of the student population in the nation’s schools (TNT, 8-10). They will be outnumbered by a combination of Latino, black, Asian and a mixture of other ethnic minority students.

This cannot be a cause of concern or alarm except in one regard: It is likely many schools, teachers, administrators and education professors will be energized by this new reality and renew the push for greater multiculturalism in the construction and delivery of curriculum in the nation’s schools.

In fact, an opposite response is called for by this new demographic shift.

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EDUCATION: Assessing schools is a tricky business

Re: “State changes Lincoln’s marks to passing” (TNT, 6-23).

In April, Lincoln High School was heralded as Washington’s 22nd most challenging high school, based on the ratio of graduates to Advanced Placement (AP) course enrollments. Last week, though, Lincoln just dodged the bullet that is the state’s watch list of low-performing schools when it found enough clerical errors in its own records to lift Lincoln off the dreaded list.  Some 43 students were wrongly counted as not graduated.

Good for Lincoln – but not really. Schools are assigned to the state’s watch list for three-year rolling graduation rates below

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SCHOOL: Less time means less education

Re: “Schedule changes make sense” (letter, 4-3).

I don’t believe the 30 years the writer spent teaching were in the math department. His recommended schedule of six 50-minute periods between 9 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. does not allow time to go from one class to the next and allows only 15 minutes for lunch.

The goal should be to give the students a quality education. That can’t happen if they have far less than 50 minutes total time in each class and little to no time to eat and have a break in the middle of the day.


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