Letter – Time to put our kids’ education first

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 2020

To The Editor:

According to the American Institute for research, those struggling with in-person learning will statistically do worse in online educational settings.

What does this mean for Buckingham? Well, Buckingham’s scores in reading, writing, math, science, and history have all fallen in the last three years (according to the Department of Education). Does this mean that the teachers are failing the students? I’d argue no, we have many of the same teachers in the county as we did five years ago.

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In the 2016-17 school year, English was 16 points behind the state average, and is now 17 points behind. Math was six points behind the state average, but is now 10 points behind. Writing was 12 points behind and is now 15 points off the average. Science was six points behind the state average and now 17 points behind. Finally, history was seven points behind the state average, and is now 15 points behind. Again, do I feel this is caused by our teachers primarily? No, after hearing teachers speak at our latest school board meeting, I believe they have been given little preparation, training and guidance to meet these rising challenges. In the School Board meetings, I’ve been able to attend, since they are scheduled at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, not once has the quality of education been brought up.

The superintendent informed me that it is her job to ensure the quality of education, but it’s the School Board’s responsibility to hold the superintendent accountable. The numbers clearly show that this school administration is failing our children.

Continuing virtual learning will not only continue the struggles of many of our children to garner a quality education, but it will exasperate many of the issues they are struggling with. It will also exasperate many of the issues our teachers are struggling with to reach these students, especially when in the 2018-19 school year 16.8% of students missed 10% or more of school. It is time for our school administration to put our children, their education, their future, and our county’s future first and to stop with platitudes.

Paul Anderson

New Canton