Letter: It will take more than a new school to achieve excellence in education

Posted 11/9/23

If voters decide to approve the bond, it remains to be seen how a new school alone will improve the quality of educational achievement by Bristol and Warren students.

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Letter: It will take more than a new school to achieve excellence in education

Posted

To the editor:

The quality of education in America is and has been for many years in serious decline despite the significant amounts of money poured into school administrations by our federal and state governments and into unions by coerced, tenured teachers. In public schools throughout Rhode Island most children continue to fail to meet or exceed standard proficiency levels in literacy and math.

According to an article in the Epoch Times, “In 1983, a group of experts commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education wrote the report – A Nation at Risk – after eighteen months of research.”

Their conclusions, which have not changed in my opinion since that time, should be alarming to all of us who are concerned about the poor results of the recently published RICAS scores.

According to this group of experts: “The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and as a people.”

The report quoted analyst Paul Copperman as saying, “for the first time in the history of our country, the educational skills of one generation will not surpass, will not equal, will not even approach, those of their parents.”

According to John Taylor Gatto, a senior teacher and educational researcher in New York City, “pick up a fifth-grade math or rhetoric textbook form 1850 and you’ll see that the texts were pitched then on what would today be considered college level.”

One of America’s top notch best scholars, philosophers and authors, Thomas Sowell, nails it when he observes: ”It is not merely that Johnny can’t read, or even that he can’t think, Johnny does not know what thinking is, because thinking is so often confused with feeling in many public schools.”

I write this letter not knowing whether voters will approve or disapprove the 200-million-dollar new school construction bond referendum. But I believe that the secret to enhancing the quality of education for Bristol and Warren youth does not depend on a new school. Education depends on what happens in the classroom with earnest, respectful students, dedicated teachers, excellent materials, strong curricula, unobtrusive administrators and unions and supportive parents.

If voters decide to approve the bond, it remains to be seen how a new school alone will improve the quality of educational achievement by Bristol and Warren students.

Peter Hewett
Bristol

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