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Education Reporter

Letters to the Editor of Education Reporter

Parent Throws in the Towel

Dear Editor:

I will not be sending any more issues of Education Reporter to Penns Manor School Board in Indiana County. My 12-year-old daughter had to watch an R-rated movie last year in "study hall." When I promptly protested to the superintendent, nothing was done. I complained to the school board and was told that our district has no policy on what teachers can and cannot show in the classroom. The Pennsylvania Department of Education told me that I could hire my own lawyer and file a morals charge against the teacher, but they wouldn't help me. So now I am working to keep my children in a Christian school while still paying property taxes to Penns Manor.

I volunteered for two years with the Title I program to try to teach kids how to read. They went nuts when I insisted on doing phonics. During my second year, I got one child for 5 minutes in the hour-and-a-half period.

Our district is the worst as far as standards go. They refuse to teach phonics, and, in fact, they have just hired women to read to 7th and 8th graders who cannot read well enough to take a test.

Our schools have inventive spelling, cooperative learning, and everything else that dumbs the child down. When I pointed all this out to our board, they did not respond. So I won't waste any more of my money sending the Education Reporter to them. Penns Manor has already stopped testing K-2, and in two years no one will be tested because, according to the elementary principal, it's too stressful.

Teachers were throwing my child's test papers in the garbage because she was the only one who had earned 100%. Others had not "mastered concepts" so everyone had to take the test over. I'm tired of fighting with the public schools.

Thanks for all your hard work.

-- Janet Andyshak, Pennsylvania

Whole Language Saturation

Dear Editor:

I am taking classes in elementary education but find that everything is Whole Language. Since my five children are great readers and have learned at home through phonics methods, I am thoroughly convinced of the importance of phonics. Why are our colleagues so blind? Is it money?

I'm dying for more meat-and-potatoes ideas instead of this superficial garbage. I'm learning nearly nothing, and this college (SUNY Cortland) is educating 60% of the teachers in New York State! I carry a very big burden for the future of the children who will be attending our public schools.

-- Jean Sutton, New York

Added Benefits of Phonics

Dear Editor:

I am using the "First Reader" book and workbook as my kindergarten-age son's phonics, reading, and handwriting curriculum (we are homeschoolers). We are so very pleased with it. My son was speech-delayed, and sounding out the words has dramatically improved his speech. Now, without having to go through speech therapy, his speech is now completely normal for children his age.

-- Christine Hall, Virginia

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