Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: Tacoma schools

June
7th

LINCOLN CENTER: Take a closer look at data

Re: “Learn from Lincoln Center success” (letter, 6-4).

I have always believed that if something seems too good to be true then it probably is. I think it would be a mistake to make a rush to judgment in regard to the putative success of Lincoln Center.

Data can be easily manipulated to produce any outcome that the manipulator desire,s and discarding unfavorable data is one of the most obvious methods of data misuse. Since so much of Lincoln Center’s highly touted success in closing the achievement is based on students’ grade-point averages, I would ask if the students in

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June
1st

TACOMA SCHOOLS: How to fix the achievement gap

The first step in fixing the so called “achievement gap” should be a sobering assessment of the cause by admitting to the uncomfortable reality that fault lies not primarily with the schools but with parents and students.

If the school board and community leaders are genuinely interested in improving outcomes for minority kids, they should reject the premise that increased “cultural sensitivity” is the solution for reducing the achievement gap.

I would argue that in many instances “accepted culture” is the cause of the achievement gap, not the solution.

Common contributing factors for educational failure are imbedded within our community,

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May
31st

TACOMA: Look at Lincoln Center’s success

Re: “Racial gap seen closing in schools” (TNT, 5-29).

What I did not see in this article about the Tacoma School District’s efforts to close the achievement gap was any mention of what we know is working and was covered by this very paper (2-21): the extended day, extended week, extended year model at Lincoln High School known as Lincoln Center.

While systemic efforts are needed, what appears obvious to me is the need to do more of what we know is already working for our students as evidenced by the impressive data from Lincoln Center. I am now left

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May
31st

TRAFFIC: School zone needs flashing lights

When the new Mount Tahoma High School opened on 74th Street, three new signs were posted: “School Crossing,” “Speed Limit 20 mph 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.” and “Speed Strictly
Enforced.”

Over the course of the last month, I’ve had to drive through the zone two to four times a day. With any attempt to slow below 30 mph, I have cars parked on my rear bumper and others whizzing by
in the left lane at 35 to 40 mph or faster. I’ve yet to see any sign of “enforcement.”

If compliance with a 20 mph speed limit

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May
13th

TACOMA: Hold schools accountable

As a Tacoma Public Schools graduate (Lincoln ’03) and current mentor of numerous Tacoma students, the recent article about Mount Tahoma High School teacher Ronnie Gordon caught my eye.

His impending displacement due to the seniority rule struck me as yet another example in a long line that highlight the frustrating reality of TPS policies that have not been crafted with the success of our students in mind. In this case, a teacher is being displaced even though he is effective and engaging as evidenced by the students who advocated on Gordon’s behalf.

Given that, now is the perfect

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May
11th

EDUCATION: Teacher’s youth is transitory

Re: “For teachers, seniority rules” (TNT, 5-10).

I found the tone of your article on displaced teachers in the Tacoma School District insulting and more than just a little one-sided.

I cannot speak for Ronnie Gordon’s instructional abilities, as I have never met him. However, I would like to point out that at no time is this addressed in the article. What is addressed is his overall involvement in his school and the personal impact he has on students. That is wonderful for the students of Mount Tahoma High School.

As a young, single teacher, I too spent countless hours

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May
3rd

TACOMA SCHOOLS: Why discourage volunteer help?

Re: “Union squelches school volunteer workers” (TNT, 4-29).

The last that I heard is that Tacoma Public Schools has a budget shortfall. I was surprised, saddened and angered to hear that a Tacoma school employees union would obstruct a group of volunteers at a weekend work party by limiting the work they could do.

There were at least 100 volunteers from Comcast to paint, remove overgrown bushes and spread beauty bark. The bushes were obstructing the staff’s view of people approaching the school and interfering with cars entering the school’s parking area. The last time the bushes were trimmed

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April
30th

EDUCATION: Tacoma schoolkids support young military families

Re: “Schools can’t afford to alienate volunteers” (editorial, 4-30).

While sometimes volunteer efforts hit snags, Tacoma elementary students are learning the value of giving back. Thanks to the generosity and love of books of students such as those at Grant and Mann elementary schools, hundreds more children of military families will receive a brand-new book the next time they visit their doctor at Madigan Army Medical Center.

That’s because the students at those schools and several others in the area participate in Scholastic’s book donation program, ClassroomsCare, which encourages students to read to help support families who have sacrificed so

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