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Editorial: Letters to the Editor

Editorial: Letters to the Editor
November 02
00:00 2013

Give students books!

To the Editor:

For several years now, I have been dealing with multi-page homework packets given to my child to complete.  Yet, my child does not have a copy of the book from which these pages were copied.

First, this is copyright infringement.  The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System should purchase books for each student and not copy selected pages.  I cannot help my child learn without some type of instruction.  Second, how does a child learn without a book from which to teach him or herself?  The teacher obviously cannot provide adequate instruction to circumvent the need for a textbook.  I have had large packets of Spanish, math, etc. with no book.  What is going on?  Is the school system too poor to provide books for every student? Are they so focused on athletics that education is no longer important?  I have purchased several books so I could help my daughter and again this year I have to purchase another book.

I notice that when my daughter takes honor courses, she gets a book, and when she takes standard courses, she does not.  Is it expected that students in standard courses don’t need a book?  My daughter once relayed to me that the teacher has a hold stack of new books in the closet.
What are they saving these books for?
I am so upset about this.

Johanna Kelley

Reading is still fundamental

To the Editor:

With the current onslaught of attacks on the public school system in North Carolina, it is imperative that we present the significant role of public schools.

As a public school teacher, who entered this honorable profession in 1974 in Chicago, I have witnessed the cornerstone of a free society being undermined by outside interests whose motivation is at best questionable. So-called experts on education have influenced the general public to accept the false premise that the classroom teacher is less than a professional contributor to the growth of our democracy.

If you are reading this article, you were taught by a teacher how to decode words and associate meaning to those words based on your innate experiences. Reading allows the human mind to soar high above the horizons that the physical eye can perceive. Today, the need is just as critical for critical readers.

Many attempts have been made on the best practices or methodologies to teach reading, but often the relationship between teacher and student is overlooked or replaced with statistical data. Why has this critical component of the teaching experience been ridiculed and challenged to the degree that lawmakers feel obligated to pass laws that often suspend the merits of this necessary element of our profession?

The stakeholders too often omit the insights of the educators who mold the  future of our society daily. Now the public assault on public education in North Carolina has reached a new low. Now is the time for the voices of educators to be heard loud and clear. Now is the time for all interested parties who learned how to read to speak up with a thunderous voice against the attempts to dismantle a cornerstone of our democratic society.

Now is the time to defend the mission of public schools to expand the mind of all students to develop to their maximum capacities. Now is the time for students, parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to demand that North Carolina legislature fully support our future, our students. They should fully fund the overdue salaries of our public school educators so they can avoid working two jobs to meet the simple needs of their families. They should be ashamed to allow themselves to be used by outside influences and focus on the children. Today that cornerstone is in the hands of our public school educators.

Fleming El-Amin

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