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Published: Saturday, 12/9/2000

Struggling students don't need humiliation

Regarding the Dec. 2 article “Grade 3 may take 4th-grade test,” Toledo Public Schools and the state of Ohio have found another way to remind struggling students that they just don't measure up.

It is no secret to me as a secondary science teacher that many of my students still cannot read at a ninth-grade level and effectively understand what they have read. I encounter this on a daily basis. Some students finish elementary school and still cannot read effectively. However, trying to solve this problem by setting up a poor little third grader to fail a test teachers and administrators know for certain he or she is not capable of passing is counter to any instruction in pedagogy I've ever received.

Let's face it. This is simply another way for TPS and other districts who have been targets of recent criticism due to their poor proficiency scores to once again look for a quick solution to their problems. This time it's at the expense of the self-esteem of some third graders.

The teachers of those third graders are very much aware that many of them cannot read (as I am sure are their second-grade teachers who worked with these students before them). More important, those third graders are already very much aware that they cannot read like many of the other children in their class. Must we subject them to the humiliation of failing yet another test?

Let's continue to get to the root of the problem. Let's work with the whole child from kindergarten on, and make sure these children have the resources both in school and at home that will help them to succeed. Let's not waste time proving something everyone already knows.


Van Fleet Parkway

Your editorial urging President Clinton to make the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a national monument is totally based on your socialist ideas of what we have become, and obviously you would like to see more of!

First of all there is no such thing as big oil.

Oil companies are owned by hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, the same people you and the Democrats claim to represent. Why don't you point out that the biggest company of all, with the most money and the most power, is the federal government?

The land grab that has taken place during the Clinton years has not been reported by you or any of the mainstream press.



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