Letters to the editor
Highlands TodayStandardized testing
Published: April 20, 2012
Published: April 20, 2012
The FCAT is an artificial means of testing our children. They go to school and learn the same kinds of things that we learned when we were in school. They get graded on those things. Then along comes the FCAT and whatever they happen to score on that renders those other grades to be moot. The school is graded on the scores of all the children taking the test.
How do you prepare for a standardized test? You can't really, but that's what goes on in classrooms all over Florida and many other states who still buy into the "no child left behind" fallacy. Children are supposed to be taught to learn in school. But it seems they are only being taught to take tests. It is no wonder our children are graduating from school dumber than the rest of the world. They get out of school with no learning skills. How is this going to prepare them for college?
There are no courses for learning. Yes, learning is a skill that one must be taught and we used to be when I went to school years ago. But, then, I actually learned. I learned all the presidents, all the bones in the body, trigonometry, Shakespeare, poetry, music, art, geography, social studies, history of all ages, spelling always counted and we had to write in cursive. Reading was done on a continuous basis.
Kids do not know how to learn anymore. I am a piano teacher and my young students struggle with the basics of the learning of music. I have been teaching many years and I've seen the evolution of the non-learner. It's sad, but it is a fact. Children are not learning to learn in school anymore.
The school system is failing its students, primarily because of all of the standardized tests.
Frances Dixon Taylor
Anonymous phone call complaints to Code Enforcement, County Commissioners and the Sheriff's office are a waste of the Highlands County taxpayer dollars. If the complaint is legitimate, why wouldn't the caller be willing to give their name? If the call stops crime or helps enforce codes and laws, why wouldn't the caller be willing to give their name? Is it fear of retaliation? There are numerous legal avenues to protect oneself and/or one's property.
Newspapers do not publish letters to the editor unless it is signed. Miami-Dade County Code Enforcement, which is complaint driven just like Highland County's Code Enforcement, does not respond to calls unless the caller identifies himself (herself).
What does it cost to have Code Enforcement drive 40 miles? What does it cost to have a Sheriff drive and sit for 25 minutes on more than one day? It is not the gas and wear and tear on vehicles that is so costly (even though it is costly with the current price of gasoline); it is the cost of wasted man hours.
Surely, our County Commissioners have more important tasks than to be driven by anonymous phone calls. It is an easy fix and a great way to save our tax dollars for accurate and compelling complaints. Calls should be recorded but not responded to if the caller is unwilling to give their name. Complaint calls where the caller is willing to be identified are the calls that Code Enforcement, County Commissioners and the Sheriff's office actively pursue. Please, County Commissioners, adopt rules to stop the waste of taxpayer dollars by eliminating anonymous call responses.