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Why is education no longer a priority?
Letter to editor
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Editor, It is no wonder that our children are falling behind the rest of the world in education. The people responsible for educating our children are letting them down.
The Programme for International Student Assessment report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics. This is disgraceful.
Common Core, No Child Left Behind and every other federally mandated education initiative have failed to educate our children, as these programs are not educational curriculum but social agendas, and they are politically motivated.
Common Core is standardizing student learning and performance nationwide and will gauge achievement using national tests. Somebody forgot to inform the government that not all children are “standard.”
Teachers will be teaching to a test, so why would they deviate from what the testers suggest? Is this the way to obtain knowledge?
Common Core takes away the creativity and the ability to form opinions for students. Parent-teacher reviews have become charts showing how a student is doing compared to the rest of the state. This is impersonal and irrelevant. Who cares what the other students are doing? What’s important is that one student and how s/he is progressing specifically.
I was in elementary school during the 1950s when America led the world. Children who did not learn were not coddled or just passed along, which would have placed a burden on the children who were dedicated to learning. Difficult children were kept behind, allowing the teachers to work with the children who wanted to learn.
We were taught the basics of math, English, writing, science and real history. We could do math in our heads, write sentences that could be understood, use the periodic table and understand historical facts and people, including those who made history, not just the social perception of the past.
I talked to several middle-school children in Midway, and they did not have the slightest idea who some famous people were, such as President Dwight Eisenhower, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and even Gen. Thomas Jackson, aka “Stonewall.”
Now the government thinks that it knows better than the educators and the parents on how to teach our children. Unless the schools go back to the basics that were taught when America was great, our children will be second-class citizens in the world. The entrepreneurial spirit will disappear, as our children will have state-controlled minds.
It’s time to get government out of our schools. Liberty County and Georgia need to stand up to the federal government and say “No more.” We need political candidates who will return our schools to us.
These programs are no more than a power grab by the federal government. Any federal plan for education takes power from the states and places it in the hands of politicians and lobbyists in Washington, D.C. At least by having school programs managed at the local level, the accountability would be much greater.
When the power does not lie in the hands of the federal government, it is much more likely to be found in the hands of parents, local schools and districts.

— Len Calderone

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