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Monday, April 21, 2014
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Published: 12/1/2006

Put student testing in its proper place

A recent article in The Blade told about the potential demise of teaching cursive writing to our children in elementary schools. All that aside, the part of the story that disturbed me was the quote from a third-grade teacher in Virginia who stated that she couldn't care less about teaching cursive because "we are much more concerned that these kids pass their SOLs (standardized tests), and that doesn't require a bit of cursive."

What a sad commentary on our education system today - shouldn't we be emphasizing learning, not just passing some tests, which is also the theme in our schools in Ohio?

I do not blame the teachers for this situation. For too many years our state and national legislators have been pushing the idea of passing various standardized tests, and too much time is being spent on that, including practice tests, rather than the need to study various subjects to learn about our heritage, instill critical thinking, and prepare our youth for their lifetime needs.

Yes, testing is a necessary part of our educational system, but passing a standardized test shouldn't be the primary reason for our children being in school. Our teachers have had their creativity taken away from them; they must follow rigid curriculum guides to ensure that their students pass the standardized tests so that the scores will look good when published in local papers.

Give teachers the opportunity to teach for the joy and challenge of learning, and put the testing program in its proper secondary role.

John Bamonte

Archbold, Ohio

I appreciated the article highlighting Lisa Sobecki's tireless efforts to promote and improve Toledo Public Schools. I can personally attest to Lisa's hard work and commitment to getting the word out regarding all of the wonderful things that happen in Toledo Public Schools.

As a teacher at Ottawa River Elementary School, I have gotten to know Lisa on many levels. I first got to know Lisa as her son's teacher, then as a committed community activist, and finally as a friend. Lisa is everything your article described and more.

Lisa has focused on promoting TPS in a positive light. At the same time, she is not afraid to point out areas that need improvement. She has rattled more than a few cages to promote positive change. Above all, she deeply respects the efforts made by teachers to educate her children and others. I would like the political community and the public to take notice of Lisa.

Civic leadership requires enthusiasm, commitment, respect, and common sense. Lisa embodies all of these characteristics. We need Lisa Sobecki in a leadership role in our community.

If Darlene Fisher would just go away, Ms. Sobecki would be the ideal candidate to replace her. A sincere respect for the dedication of TPS teachers is what is lacking in our current Toledo Board of Education president.

Tracey Rudnicki

Goddard Road

A voice for residents of group home

My deepest regards to The Blade for keeping the public informed regarding the sting operation at Secor Metropark in which six men were charged with public indecency. As the sister and legal guardian of a resident of the Anne Grady Center, I was very upset to read in your article that Larry White is still actively working as the executive director of that facility. This wonderful facility is home to mentally handicapped individuals who can't speak for themselves, therefore, as my brother's legal guardian, I am his voice.

All employees of the Anne Grady Center are called to task for infractions until they are investigated and cleared. I asked the board of the directors why wasn't Mr. White, at the very least, put on paid administrative leave until his case was cleared. How can Mr. White effectively serve the residents of the center while he most certainly must spend his time concentrating on salvaging his reputation?

I believe all Ohioans are sick and tired of the "good ol' boys'•" network. Instead of protecting Mr. White, the board of directors of the Anne Grady Center should be working to protect the individuals of the Anne Grady Center.

If it wasn't for The Blade reporting this story to the public, I would not be able to speak for my brother. Thank you for giving him a voice in this matter.

SHIRLEY PAKULSKI

Oregon

As I read your article about the funeral of Jeremy Shock and reflected about the effect of his death on his family and friends, I got a lump in my throat. So many people have been hurt so badly on both sides by this war. What happened to compassion and common sense?

Maybe things would change if the "victory at any cost" bunch in Washington would attend some of these funerals.

William Poznanski

Melvin Drive



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