I am a grandmother who recently read the results from last year’s STAAR tests. How embarrassing! Today’s standards are set so low because the “dumbing down” of America has been going on for years. Seventy is the lowest passing grade; Beeville posted 17 grades, only two were passing! (BISD Superintendent) Dr. Sue Thomas says this is not as horrible as it sounds. Wake up! These grades are horrible. Saying the grades are a year old holds no weight because all grades recorded by all schools are a year old. Think back to a time when America was the leader in education worldwide; now we are a laughingstock.
Our children should be provided with the materials to achieve and then encouraged, even pushed to reach for and attain high academic achievement on both an individual and group level. If there was as much dedication/competition in the classrooms as in the gym and on the field there would be nothing our children couldn’t achieve. School is for education, not sport trophies.
The most important material a child can possess is a current textbook. If children have textbooks and homework assignments from those textbooks, they are then required to read and search out answers. This improves their reading skills, comprehension and “studying” habits. The textbook not only provides the child with study material, but it is also an invaluable resource for the parent, which no doubt would lead to more parental involvement. Parents are blamed for no involvement, but how are we to be involved when we haven’t a clue what is being taught (no curriculum guideline) and we have no textbook to use as a reference to help the child? A failing grade comes home and, again, no textbook to refer to for material to help the child improve. I cannot express how important a textbook is in the learning process, for both the student and for parental involvement. PowerPoint cannot be carried home with the student. PowerPoint should be in addition to textbooks, not a substitute for them. We spend millions of tax dollars on education each year; why do our students not have current textbooks to use?
My little granddaughter says most days they don’t have science because she has math and science the same period. If they do not finish their math, they cannot do science –what? We had a designated period for all core subjects, distinguished by a bell. She says they don’t even have bells. If there is no rhyme or reason to their daily activities/expectations, how are they to learn to manage their time?
We need to get our children back to textbooks, homework and class schedules. This current education system is failing our students. A curriculum guideline for parents would be helpful, but current textbooks would suffice. Instead of citing lack of parental involvement as a reason for failing students, why not provide us with a necessary resource (textbooks our tax dollars should already be paying for) to help our children achieve?
Martha A. Haun