Archive for Thursday, October 2, 2003

Letter: Parent cites concerns with emphasis on testing

October 2, 2003

To the Editor:

I am an involved parent in the Bonner Springs School District and have concerns about the proposed balanced school year. My main concern is that each school will get to decide on whether to implement this new change. Thus you could have two different calendars for families with more than one child. I also have read The Chieftain with all the positive information the school district has about the balanced school year, but I also can find the same amount of negative information.

I do not think the real fight is with the school district, but with President Bush's No Child Left Behind. If a small percentage of students do not score correctly on standardized testing, the whole school is considered to have failed.

The idea is great and I believe every child deserves the right to a good education. But now school districts are afraid of how test scores reflect on their district. The states have cut education spending and the state of Kansas does not even fund summer school so additional money is needed in the budget to help those students.

ITBS testing was this last week at our school. Students don't learn what was wrong with their answers, just the outcome.

I do not want my child's sole identity or my district's identity taken from a test given one week during the school year. The testing that is done throughout the school year gives a greater indication of how a student is succeeding or failing. Teachers can tell where their students are without these tests and know those students that need additional help. I can learn so much more by talking, reading, spending time with, and being involved with my child then any test can say about them.

Dr. Van Maren has spoken at our school and stated that other countries go to school more school days and are doing better in school. I do not believe more days is the answer. Going to school in other countries is a privilege that is considered special and unique. We have come to just think of school as something we have to do. We need to find out ways to engage students, excite students, and help parents become more involved.

Please get involved, make a difference in the life of a child.

Dawn Jackson

Bonner Springs

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