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Letter: How much longer until improvement?

It seems that, once again, the Rowan-Salisbury Schools administration is preparing the public for the September release of more devastatingly low state test scores.

When Dr. Lynn Moody speaks of the renewal system and the real-world instruction, it sounds great, but the public needs to remember that the reason RSS is the state’s first renewal system is because of the system’s historically low test scores.

Being prepared for the real world means being able to compete in the workplace. It means having the skills to read and comprehend what you read. It means having the ability to communicate. It means having a fundamental understanding of mathematics.

Those are the very skills that are measured by the state tests.

Unfortunately, RSS students have been falling far below the state average on those tests for several years.

To dismiss the facts by saying the tests aren’t important or valid is a deliberate misrepresentation.

Most school districts across the state have shown a steady increase in test performance with yearly progress toward having all students on grade level. RSS is going backward. Fewer than half of the RSS students are performing at minimal grade level on reading and math.

Teaching students through their personal interests is a fine concept.  However, for most students, much of what they need to learn must be taught through direct instruction, and that seems to be missing in many RSS schools. It is obvious that many parents and educators believe this is true.

As the RSS student population shrinks, the student population in local private schools increases. How long will our school board continue to ignore the statistics? How long will it continue to buy into yet another “new idea?” How many more times will the public be expected to “wait until next year?”

— Karen Lilly-Bowyer

Salisbury

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