Letter: What education needs is accountability

Mr. Bill Hanlon is typical of today's people in charge of education. In the last three months he has written columns stating the reasons why students are not able to pass proficiency tests. Let me reiterate some of them.

Teacher's salaries are too low, class size is too large, new schools are needed or existing schools need repairing, not enough books, parents are not involved enough, and now he states that business people should also be held accountable for the failing students.

Not once did he put even the slightest blame on the school administrators or the teachers. If I made half of these excuses to any of my clients, they would fire me. Unfortunately we can't do that to these people. I think that Gov. Guinn and the state legislators should get together and write legislation to get rid of these people if they can't produce. In California they have a lemon law which states that if you bought a new car and it didn't operate properly you get your money back. Well, where is our money back for our failing students? Where is their accountability?

I lived in a New York City Housing Project and went to a Catholic elementary school. In order to graduate from elementary school I had to take the New York Board of Regents Test to prove that I was sufficiently educated to go on to high school. We had 40 students, half whose parents were immigrants. We all passed the Regents Test, which consisted of Math, English, History and Geography. The Math and English tests were the equivalent of Nevada's Proficiency tests and this was for elementary school. Thirty-two of us passed entrance tests to Bronx School of Science, Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Loyola and Bishop Loughlin.

One of the things I didn't mention about my educational background is that I had the same teacher for the seventh and eighth grades and she taught all the subjects.

I would also like to know why students in private or religious schools do better than public schools. The buildings are not new, the teachers earn less than public school teacher's and there are more students per class.

Gov. Guinn, please help change this failing system. Make school systems accountable or give vouchers to students in failing school systems.




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