Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Tacoma School District

April
21st

TACOMA: Gifted programs may need rethinking

Re: “Tacoma to offer more classes for gifted kids” (TNT, 4-8).

As a former participant in the Sherman Elementary School JAWS (Joining Abilities with Students) program, I am skeptical about the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program.

Once a week, I rode a bus with students from Washington Hoyt Elementary to Franklin, where we were supposedly being pushed to excel through the JAWS program.
On the contrary; bus rides took up an hour of the day. Our curriculum consisted of material that felt irrelevant and silly. JAWS felt like a once-a-week field trip.

In third grade, I was

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March
26th

TACOMA: School district must bridge teacher quality gap

Re: “Getting serious about the teacher quality gap” (Viewpoint, 3-26).

I went online and read the authors’ full report, based on OSPI data. Now I understand a bit more about how Tacoma’s higher-poverty students are more likely to receive instruction from teachers with less experience, lower performance on required licensure tests and lower levels of value-added effectiveness.

Assuming our Tacoma School Board members also have this information before them, what changes and improvements might we expect, so all students in Tacoma are given a fair chance to succeed?

March
11th

TACOMA: School officials did wrong by Stewart

Re: “Poor scores at school draw state intervention” (TNT, 3-9).

“We are not going to give up on them” is how a Tacoma School District spokesman refers to the students with low test scores at Stewart Middle School.By implication, the Stewart community is blamed for those low scores.

These scores weren’t due to general socioeconomic conditions in the area, as claimed. District administrators must own much of the blame. They failed the students by placing inexperienced people in charge, and implementing a time- and energy-consuming “inclusion” plan.

Why weren’t administrators replaced by others with a proven record of success

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Feb.
13th

FESTIVAL: Adult error created Daffodil snafu

A News Tribune article (2-7) told readers of an “error in judging” that led to two students being crowned as daffodil princesses at Emerald Ridge High School. Puyallup School District officials attribute “an adult mistake” as the reason for this.

Unfortunately, for my daughter, this was not the case 11 years ago when an “adult mistake” at Lincoln High School in Tacoma cost her the princess crown. Before she decided to run, my daughter went to a school representative of the parade and was told that her GPA of 3.1 was adequate. But after she had been crowned, after

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Feb.
4th

TACOMA: School district rules seem ridiculous

My grandchild is a fifth-grader at Sherman Elementary School and is looking forward to the week-long Outdoor Camp – a longstanding tradition for fifth-graders in Tacoma public schools.

We have been informed that if she wants to take ChapStick or sunscreen to camp with her, she must have a doctor’s note. These items will then be treated as if they were prescription and held for her. This is despite sunscreen being on the list of suggested supplies.

We are told this is necessary because sunscreen and lip balms are applied to the skin. Hmm. Shampoo and soap are also on

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Jan.
23rd

TACOMA: Please support school district levies

Tacoma voters, please support the Proposition 1 and 2 levies. These are critical to the Tacoma School District’s operating budget and essential for technology upgrades.

These levies account for 24 percent of the operating budget and will support day-to-day operations and educational programs. Failure to pass these levies will result in the loss of teachers, educational programs and the opportunity to upgrade outdated technology.

Out-of-date computers will be replaced, and software and infrastructure will be updated. System upgrades will be provided to support classrooms, and Internet capacity will be enhanced in order to provide 24/7 access for students to curriculum.

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Jan.
21st

EDUCATION: Court’s ruling misses the boat

I appreciated the editorial on the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling on public school funding (TNT, 1-16). The court has no real basis for requiring a specified dollar increment to school system funding, since there is no direct correlation between funding level and system quality.

If there were such a correlation, the United States would already have the best public schooling in the world, and that is certainly not the case.

The court certainly was correct, however, in requiring action by state legislators to effect school system upgrade. My own preference for a court ruling would have been to require

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Oct.
29th

TACOMA: Dexter Gordon’s the best choice for school board

I can’t agree with The News Tribune editorial board’s choice for the Tacoma School Board, Position 1. We are in need of fresh ideas if the present generation is to be useful to themselves and society. We need all students to graduate and to be excited about continuing education so they can achieve their dreams.

I suggest that an experienced educator, Dexter Gordon, be chosen. He is a dedicated father of students in the Tacoma school system, an involved community leader and the candidate who will best serve the district’s interests. More information on his stand on the issues are

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