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Opinion :: To The Editor: 'Blanket of Blame' covers more than just teachers
· 12:11pm January 25th, 2013
By Daryn J. Hamilton
To the Editor:
I would like an opportunity to respond to the Opinion: VS top 25 ranking is nothing to be happy about
Mr. Tilson, the problem you’ve identified in your opinion piece, as I read it, is to be laid squarely upon the shoulders of the teachers and administrators of the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District?
Where are the responsibility, accountability and obligation of the parents in this?
You’ve recognized the problems that your son was having and taken extraordinary steps to provide guidance and support to improve his situation. As a parent I applaud you for your effort.
As a graduate and son of a former teacher of the Vinton Community School District I was lacking a solid foundation in reading fundamentals at the same age as your son. That was 1972-73 and it doesn’t appear the problem is any different today! My parents and the school district recognized from the former Iowa Tests of Basic Skills that I needed help. During that time the district employed a dedicated remedial reading teacher. Is this the case today? One is not available in the Fairfield Community School District where I’m a resident and I’m assuming this to be true with the VSCSD.
My wife and I have taken an active role in the educational development of both our children. Our oldest, a 2011 graduate and current student at UNI, was very active in extracurricular activities. From her involvement in T-ball, softball, cheerleading for football and wrestling, and from band, jazz band, choir, show choir and many other activities her priority was expected, by us, to be academics. Our son, who will graduate in 2015 and not as deeply involved in extracurricular activities, has his priorities set on academics. We’ve supported this by being involved with their teachers and administrators. We’ve done this because we want our children to be successful in life.
Without this type of involvement your community will experience, as you stated, “This drop-out problem today is our public safety and public welfare problem for the next generation in this community.” Your statement is true of any community. Without involvement, support, and guidance of parents and just relying on the school district this problem will never be solved in your community, my community, or anyone else’s.
Before the blanket of blame is tossed upon VSCSD, or FCSD, maybe a community assessment could be made to find out if simple mentoring of students would improve this situation. Not all parents are as involved and passionate in their children’s education as we’ve been. Unfortunately not all parents care to be involved in their children’s education. Talk with your school’s administrators and teachers again but this time ask what you could do to help this situation instead of being accusatorial as to why they’ve done nothing. After all they’re your neighbors and friends aren’t they? Here they’re mine.
A community must work together to improve their lot today, not just lament that someone else has failed it. Someone else is also you Mr. Tilson.
To the Editor: VS top 25 ranking is nothing to be happy about
To the Editor: Why outcome-based education is not working