Tonawanda News


March 12, 2014

LETTER: Failing schools a problem for all of us

Tonawanda News — We are continuously reading about the poor state of our education system and how our children are lagging in comparison to other countries. We are being told to raise our standards, increase the rigor and get rid of our bad educators. While education becomes more demanding, curriculum taught at a faster and more intense pace, more concepts added at younger ages, our state has taken away our resources to help our schools succeed. 

While the children in our schools are expected to make huge gains, our class sizes enlarge, the services our children receive, whether it be gifted programs to further enrich and advance our out-of-the-box thinkers or resource services for children who need extra help, are removed due to lack of funds. Children who were lagging in reading by a small amount, someone maybe we could say at risk of failing, now cannot receive services because those programs are cut. Our children must fail first and then possibly if they are the lowest of the low, they can receive academic help. 

Our schools, our children, our counties in Western New York are being set up for failure. Long gone are the days when the schools were able to purchase new titles for the classroom library or math materials needed as teaching and learning tools. Long gone are the field trips I was able to take to UB’s Geology Department during a rocks/minerals unit, viewing seismograph machines, and experiencing first-hand current research with earthquake resistant buildings. 

Last week I listened to Dr. Timbs present from the Statewide School Finance Consortium that all our Western New York schools are in fiscal crisis mode. It is not the fault of us taxpayers. We are among the heaviest taxed in the country. Our teachers have taken wage freezes, given back health insurance benefits and other concessions to save education. 

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