November 15, 2013
I felt encouraged by the recent report in the Daily News about the progress in test scores in our local schools. That is, I was encouraged until I got on the website called “Kentucky Schools Report Card.” When compared to other school systems in our region, we are not doing well at all!
I made a separate table for independent school districts and for country systems. Among the 12 independent school systems in the region, Middlesboro ranks last and Pineville next to last. Among country systems Bell County is around the middle of the pack. Bell is better than Middlesboro and Pineville, but all are in the bottom category for “needs improvement.”
Our chronic unemployment problem has its roots in the long-term situation regarding our education shortfalls. Sure, there are many success stories of our graduates. However, the run-of-the-mill graduates are being shortchanged. Modern employers should expect competent applicants. Job creators looking to move here see a dismal picture.
This is not an indictment of any particular individual or administration. Truth be known, blame can be placed at the feet of parents who don’t care, administrators who hire less than the best teachers and principals, teachers who may lack qualifications or desire and a public that is willing to accept mediocrity.
We must not accept the argument that somehow students, parents and conditions are different in our country than elsewhere. How different are we from Harlan Independent and Pikeville Independent which are in the “Distinguished” category? Or Floyd and Laurel counties, which are rated “Proficient?”
We have had a recent change in administration in each of our school systems. They come in with great expectations and responsibility. Hey have a tough job lifting us from a low standing. The public needs to be alert to what is going on in our education systems, support all who are in charge, understand that the past is behind us, but refuse to accept this type of outcome in the future.
Letter To the citizens of the United States of America: Do you know your rights? Have you taught your kids their rights? Have you read the constitution or the Bill of Rights?
If you said “no” to any of these questions then you are on the path to losing your rights. If you don’t know your rights then it makes it easy for someone to take your rights away. If you don’t teach your kids their rights then they might not have them at all.
If you haven’t read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, what keeps the politicians from changing them? You might say “what keeps them from changing them anyway?” There are 313.9 million United States citizens, and if we all join together we can do or stop anything or anyone.
Cumberland Gap, Tenn.