LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Reita Isaacs, Liberal
It’s not that I haven’t had anything to disagree with lately; something just kept telling me to wait in case some additional printed “information “ would appear before me. Now I have two articles to discuss if anyone is interested.
On Jan. 8, the L&T published the meeting of USD 480. They reviewed that on their Oct. 10, 2022 meeting, the board approved two district goals (student achievement and school attendance). The strategic plan includes the expectations from stakeholders, the district goals, actions to achieve the goals, and measures to achieve the goals.
Further on they discuss using ESSER II funds to support dual credit which is: A proven evidence-based strategy to increase high school achievement and completion and to boost post secondary enrollment and credential attainment. These may be used to expand access to and participation in dual enrollment, particularly for those students who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic such as low income students, English learners, and students with disabilities. Further down the article they mention there are students who have been historically underrepresented in dual credit courses at LHS. Really? The article goes on to relate the number of students taking dual credit courses decreased by 33 percent from 284 in Fall 2018-19 to Fall 2022-23.
Here’s where I get confused. If 70 percent of the decreased participation is blamed on their family income, how does allocating $200,000 in ESSER II funds allow different access and participation in dual credit courses? Students either qualify and desire to participate or they don’t. Easy money isn’t always the answer.
Instead of addressing the article on Jan. 15, I’ll just go to column three on Jan. 8.
Sunflower Elementary School is requesting continuing a program called the Leader In Me for the amount of $46,800 for three years. This program was implemented in 2019 and was praised at the time from teachers. Was that in anticipation of success? Let me tell you what it’s really about, and we’ll see if anyone stands in line to promote it.
“It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students (good classes in vocational and junior colleges) and helps create a culture of student empowerment, which is something we really wanted to shift toward our redesign.”
This is from their teacher Jeana Winchester. She goes on to say, “We want to give the students more choice and control, and we want to empower them to go out and be successful and not just be here in the building. It’s centered around the idea that every student is a leader in some way, so we want to utilize that.”
Excuse me. According to all the things we read about and in the real world cry differently.
To continue, “Another big goal for Leader In Me is we want to create a culture of trust and engagement and empower students to lead their own lives and make good choices. It also provides the tools for students to better achieve their goals and develop their own voice.”
This isn’t the only teacher in the system encouraging our young, impressionable children to bypass parental influence, natural intellectual progression, and the acceptance not everyone gets the gold medal or even a certificate of attendance. How many difficulties within the home is caused by this new way of teaching?
More to come on the 15th edition.