Progress re­port

The Covington News - - Opinion -

To say that we, like most folks, were dis­ap­pointed in the re­cent New­ton School Sys­tem AYP scores would be an un­der­state­ment.

The sys­tem showed im­prove­ments, but failed over­all, for a sec­ond year. This is frus­trat­ing on sev­eral lev­els. For one, we are tired of New­ton schools be­ing be­hind the eight ball as far as fed­eral test­ing is in­volved. There’s too much em­pha­sis on teach­ing to the test in our schools and in pub­lic schools across the nation.

Long ago, we ex­pected our school sys­tems sim­ply to ed­u­cate our chil­dren, pro­vid­ing a solid ed­u­ca­tion in read­ing, writ­ing and arith­metic. But since the ’70s, we’ve been ask­ing our schools to serve as food co­or­di­na­tors, med­i­cal ad­vis­ers or sim­ply as babysit­ters.

We have al­lowed school ad­min­is­tra­tions across the coun­try to cre­ate bu­reau­cracy af­ter bu­reau­cracy in pro­vid­ing these ser­vices and to add more rules and lay­ers of to­tal con­trol over our chil­dren’s lives.

Now, ex­tra­ne­ous pro­grams are be­ing cut to the bone and the lay­ers of fat are be­ing trimmed. Just maybe af­ter we get to that level, we can be­gin wor­ry­ing about sim­ply ed­u­cat­ing our chil­dren again.

In spite of the AYP re­sults, we to­tally sup­port Dr. Mathews in his ef­forts to stream­line the New­ton County School Sys­tem and to de­velop an ed­u­ca­tion model that will not only raise our stu­dents’ scores but will also help us at­tract in­dus­try to our county.

Dr. Mathews told us in a meet­ing last year when he first came to New­ton County that his pro­gram would take up to five years to pro­duce change. We see enough good things hap­pen­ing in our schools that we take him at his word.

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