Sunday, June 9, 2002
Back to school
To the editor:
The story by Terry Cassreino about principal Phillip Daniels ("School exam policy raises questions," The Meridian Star, June 4) is appalling. Wonder why we don't have and cannot get better paying jobs in the state. This might have some connections why East Mississippi was not mentioned to any of the automakers to locate here.
The article states that a student would receive a passing grade if he/she would just take the test no matter what their score was sounds like why Mississippi is and has all ways been at the bottom of everything. Principal Daniels said that the "final" test only counted for 10 percent, and would not determine if that student would pass or not needs to be looked into. Every student should have to take finals, for that is the only procedure to measure if the student learned what should have been taught to him/her during the year.
Sounds to me like the teachers at Kate Griffin are not teachers, but only highly paid people to pass out tests that have no meaning at all. But then, that was what they were told to do.
We need to demand best education available
To the editor:
I am writing in response to the recent rumors of a letter circulated to the staff of Kate Griffin School. As a result of this letter I would like to make a formal request to the administrators of the school system.
First of all, I would like my three children to graduate and participate in graduation ceremonies in three years, that way I can make sure that they all graduate together. That scenario will also help with self-esteem and allow them to all be on a level playing field.
Second, I request that my children be allowed to miss 200 days of school per year, but be given at least an average grade so not to hurt their feelings and help with self esteem.
Third, I ask that you no longer make them take math, they really complain about that class; therefore, I think arithmetic should be eliminated from the curriculum.
Fourth, if this request can't be honored, since my children attend Clarkdale, I request they be transferred to Kate Griffin effective immediately. Please respond to me via e-mail so not to allow my children to know that politics can buy them a diploma.
Now, with all this said, is this what we want? Is this the future of our state and country? What progress do we make by dumbing down education?
It is time to wake up. It is time for parents of school age children to demand the best education available for our children. Now, let us play the democratic card … do it for the children, do it for the future of our kids.
A sad commentary
To the editor:
High tech jobs for Meridian? Forget it! What industry would want to move to an area whose public schools allow children to be exempt from final exams with a passing grade of 70, and, to make matters worse, you would not receive a grade less than 70 if you took the exam.
This is a sad commentary for the Meridian Public School System.
Exams are valuable teaching tools
To the editor:
As a former student and teacher in the Meridian Public School System, I understand why final exams are unpopular. Students don't want to study for them and teachers feel pushed to grade a final exam and average its score into the student's final grade.
But I feel that a final exam is a valuable teaching tool and no student should granted exemption. All students should be told at the semester's beginning that a final exam will be given and will be considered 25 percent of the semester's grade. Review questions can be brought up at any time during the semester, and notebooks should be kept up to date for a final review. What an opportunity this is to show students that facts and concepts learned at the first of the semester are not to be discarded and forgotten, but that knowledge builds on itself.
If the grade on the final exam counts for something, such as 25 percent, then there is an incentive to do well on it. A borderline passing student has the opportunity to raise himself up to a respectable grade. An A student will learn the organizational skills of review that are necessary for college because many college classes consist of lectures and one or perhaps two exams per semester.
Times have changed since I was once a student and then a teacher in Meridian schools. Times are different, teachers are different and students are different. But a high school diploma should still be a reward for mastery of certain skills. Let's expect excellence from our students.
Letters continued, see news stories