Failure is not an option – it is a realtity

Students failing in Hillsborough County FlThe Tampa Tribune reports that  Sligh Middle School  administrators didn’t know before the end of the school year that 160 students were failing! That’s like a captain and crew saying that they didn’t know the ship was leaking, until it sank, and yet, were there any consequences for those teachers and administrators to allow this to happen?

No. We are going to hand out “Failure is not an option!” t-shirts and sit around wringing our hands over what should be done.

With over 235 years of public education experience in this nation, little Johnny STILL can’t read.

Hillsborough County is well into the second year of a seven-year, multimillion dollar Gates Foundation grants program to “revamp the way teachers are recruited, trained and paid”  yet there appears to be little progress in revamping the way our children are taught reading, writing and arithmetic.

Schools are getting graded “D” and “F” in student results.This includes charter schools and Renaissance schools. 

We still get the same excuses that the grading system is “unfair” or the students  “enroll with low scores” or my favorite, “we almost got a ‘C’ “.

How many college educated adults with a yearly $1.6 BILLION operating budget does it take to successfully teach our children? How many college graduates does it take to screw-in a student?

How many hours of instructional opportunity do our children receive between preschool and high school graduation, that at the end of that, they cannot read a newspaper, fill out a job application or balance their checkbook?

How many more “wake-up calls” and how many more “Think-Tank Thursdays” must we endure before we get the results our children need and deserve; for them to become functioning adults in our society?

This is beyond shameful.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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