This post was submitted by retired Columbus, Georgia educator Judson Patten as a comment about the post The Education Solution: Is it Really the Teacher’s Fault? I decided to run it as an individual post because it gives a teacher’s point of view.
By Judson Patten
I felt so sorry for the students and teachers at Marshall Middle School over the years as they were being tested and continually called a “failing school.” Then they would be compared with Richards Middle School and Arnold Middle School and the only difference was the address of the schools and the part of town the children came from. I always thought it was so unfair to label a whole school as “failing” because of test scores. I fully believe that you could have switched the teachers from Richards with the teachers at Marshall and the outcome would have been exactly the same.
Georgia gives all students the same test and that includes the children in Special Education classes. Yet there are some states that do not test the Special Education students along with the rest and that makes Georgia show up as further down in the comparisons.
Every thing that can be done to better prepare students for school is important. You mentioned pre-kindergarten classes and I believe that program is taking a tremendous hit with Governor Deal’s budget. I’ve been involved with education in Columbus for over 40 years and the teachers have always been working their hearts out for the children of Columbus. Of course, there are going to be some that don’t go quite as far as others but the teachers give their all for the students and will do everything within their power to do all that the students will allow them to do to better their education.
Public school is the way. When you take the students out of public school and put them in private school – you are also hurting the public school by removing many of the students that would help with raising the test scores in each school. Kids are worth the money that it takes to provide the best education that can be provided. Cutting five days out of the school year for students – that’s a whole week of school – was insane. And that was to save money.