Letters to the Editor

Repair the public education system

I have great concerns about the future of public schools in our country. Though the Miami-Dade County School Board appears to support public school education, why, at the same time, is it allowing more charter schools to pop up in the county? Teachers are being surplussed because enrollment in almost every school has dropped. Classes are again overcrowded due to the loss of teachers in classrooms.

Another issue that I thought would be solved with the creation of end-of-course (EOC) exams for core classes, such as math and science, is another test to replace the FCAT for graduation. Does anyone besides the educators and students in the schools realize that from April through June, nothing takes place in high schools except standardized testing? Why? There aren’t enough computers in the schools to do this.

Either get rid of the EOCs or the FCAT’s successor. All of this testing has become ridiculous and blown out of proportion. Somebody has made a lot of money creating and printing these tests. And too many of the people who have pushed this method of ensuring children have learned in school have never attended a public school.

The Legislature has long stopped adequately funding public schools in our state and it could care less if our state is first or last in the country. They found a pot of money for their friends to play in and that’s one reason why our schools are in the shape they’re in now.

I’m shocked at how parents bought into the concept of “inclusion.” I guess some are just concerned about the check they collect each month for their child. From firsthand knowledge, too many Exceptional Student Education teachers have gotten a pass to do little to nothing each and every day on the job due to inclusion. ESE teachers get paid more than the regular classroom teacher. Since inclusion began, my question has been: Why?

Too many students, who have been designated learning disabled, need smaller classes with a teacher trained to work with them. Florida’s solution is to require all teachers to take a number of special education courses before they can be certified or recertified.

I worked in the school system when it was a simpler time. We were allowed to teach and be creative and graduated students who could read and write. The system is broken. It needs to be repaired, and children need to come first.

Let’s get a new mindset when it comes to children, schools and teachers.

Gertha L. Poitier-Whitehead, Opa-locka