This is in response to the most recent announcement of our public schools and their “grades.”
I am a first-grade teacher in a “D” school in Assumption Parish. It’s a shame that schools like ours are publicly labeled by a process that is already unfair before the scores are even processed. How can you compare a magnet school with a very select population to a school that accepts and welcomes every child, regardless of ability or disability?
The faculty and staff at our school work very hard to ensure that every child is taught well and brought to his or her highest potential. We do not discriminate about who can attend our school. You do not have to have a certain grade-point average or be identified as gifted to attend. We have children with autism, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental and physical disabilities, Down syndrome etc. We welcome them all, and we love them all. We have children who have never touched a book before they started school, and we work to the best of our ability to help them catch up. We have children whose parents are working two jobs to try to provide for their basic needs, and it is difficult for someone to help them at home with assignments. We have children who live in foster homes, and they are not sure where they will live next week. It is very insulting to have a number or a grade attached to what we do by people who have no idea how hard we work every day to teach these children survival skills, social skills AND academic skills.
I have been teaching for 20 years. When I started teaching, it was about the child; now it is about the test or the grade. It is a sad world where the grade of a school means more than the growth of a child and the relationships that helped the child achieve that growth.