Featured Letter: Get tough on these teachers

To the editor:

There are few times when I so seriously disagree with an editorial to the point of needing to airing my own views. As I understand it, the point of the Common Core Learning Standards is to improve the level of education in our state. Beginning with the well-established standing of our students’ educations compared to other civilized nations around the world, where we rate behind so many other countries, it would seem to indicate the need for radical reform. 

Upon entering the public education system in 1948, we were subject to state-wide test standards for capacity (IQ) as well as academically. As I passed through reading comprehension and writing capacity tests in the lower grades, we would not succeed if not up to the task. By the end of 12 years of education, we who were college-bound had to pass statewide standard Regents examinations. It was certainly a reflection upon the teacher how many got acceptable grades, and it was not a pass/fail grade. Results were gauged numerically.

The premise that teachers fare better in “wealthy Jericho” than in the inner cities is explained, perhaps, by their having better-attending pupils (who need not work on the side to help feed the family), more motivated by their parents and teachers than where the emphasis is on school — not survival.

It is up to the teachers to make the difference. Teachers should be held to a high bar of effectiveness. Spot observations of their classroom process and relationship with their students is of utmost importance. Not to have a third-grade teacher smoking in the classroom in front of her students and espousing the stereotype that all Asians are great in math, as was the case in my daughter’s class in 1985. Horrible!

Common Core may seem a jolt to the system, but if that’s what it takes, then thank you, Gov. Cuomo!

Marianne Selwyn, Orient