Letter: Stretch the students’ minds
Our citizens do have an important stake since we provide major funding, but more than that, the success of our school system is the future of our county.
This does not mean dumbing down educational standards, but having stretch expectations like our students will expect in real life.
The better our schools perform, the higher priority and support will follow with the attendant enthusiasm. Throwing money at education has not made a difference in all too many localities, including our nation’s capital with the resignation of Chancellor and reformer Michelle Rhee.
Schools have never successfully become surrogate parents, nurses, coaches, at the expense of strong standard of high academic expectations. Having been involved in public education for many years at the secondary school and college level, I realize there must be a passion for teaching absent the bureaucracy of costly mandates at the state and federal levels.
The Gloucester County school system is accountable not only to parents and students, but to all taxpaying citizens of this county and all potential employers, to include major employers such as Northrop Grumman, Jefferson Labs, Ferguson Enterprises, NASA Langley, and other private and government employers, much less all the other service businesses.
If Northrop Grumman is to hire our graduates on a preferential basis, they first must be qualified to be hired and more importantly, have the education to build for promotions and better paying job opportunities—the greatness of America.
Today, 3 percent of our job opportunities are vacant because of the inability to find qualified candidates. Our jobless rate would be 6.5 percent instead of 9.6.
I believe in our county we want the best education system possible, second to none, without all the peripheral overhead unrelated to teaching.
Recently, homework has been virtually eliminated in the high school, and likewise final exams for all. We don’t have the time to teach what the students really need.
Our Board of Supervisors rightly should ensure that equitable county funds are prioritized in every governmental activity at the county level and review it with a jaundiced eye any waste potential. If we can’t do it at this level, it certainly is not possible at the federal level.
My dream is to educate each child based on potential yes, but also to have stretch expectations which require student and family cooperation and dedication. Our students deserve only the opportunity, not recognition, promotion, diplomas and grades not commensurate with academic achievement.
Then and only then do we genuinely care about our young people, the future of our nation.
David L. Peebles