Whether Richard Ross, Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction, talks about state standards, Common Core, or elevating the level of instruction, it isn’t teachers or school administrators who needs fixing the most (“Make Common Core better in Ohio; don’t scrap it,” op-ed column, April 20).
Educational performance in Ohio for the most part, whether in public schools or charter schools, is directly tied to the socioeconomic level of the children being taught. The more affluent the community, the higher the performance scores.
Parents in those communities value education, become more involved in their children’s instruction, and send them to school expecting them to engage and perform in class.
Teachers and administrators in underperforming urban areas can’t fix what families should fix. Common Core or no Common Core, it is parents’ job to send their children to school ready to learn.
Too many tests supplant learning
I am a teacher with Toledo Public Schools. In the coming weeks, my fellow third-grade teachers and I will be giving the following tests: Ohio Achievement Assessment, STAR Reading and Math, Terra Nova alternative assessment for students who don’t pass the OAA, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, Ohio Diagnostic, and Thinkgate Math.
In addition, teachers are responsible for Ohio Teacher Evaluation System observations, Student Learning Objective reports, grade cards, weekly teacher-based team meetings, lesson plans, and intervention groups.
As a result of the third-grade reading guarantee, all students who scored less than 392 on last October’s OAA are required to be retained. This means numerous conferences with parents and principals and accompanying paperwork.
My colleagues and I just want to teach. There is no time for teaching, only testing. Our educational system has forgotten the purpose of school: learning. Excessive testing is out of control and serves no purpose.
I became a teacher to educate children and instill a joy of learning, not constant fear and pressure from yet another test.
It may sound like a cliché, but we do need to “get back to the basics” — teaching and learning.
Voting change is about planning
Can Toledo City Councilman Jack Ford explain how it is racist to reduce early voting in Ohio from 35 to 29 days (“Ford rips voting changes; Councilman declares procedures are undemocratic,” March 25)?
I can make sure that I get to a voting booth on Election Day. My mother-in-law votes by absentee ballot because of her reduced mobility and makes sure her forms are sent in on time.
If a person cannot plan ahead for this, I don’t want him or her making the important choices that decide our future. If a person can plan to get a haircut or go to the doctor or the grocery store within a week of doing so, than he or she surely can plan for Election Day, let alone 29 early voting days.
Mr. Ford should quit using skin color as a crutch.
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