I have been a public school teacher for 35 years and I agree with much of what Rep. Laurel Libby and Dylan Oliver say in their Jan. 26 column but disagree in two key ways: I think blaming public schools for the drop in testing scores over the last three years is just too easy and too unfair. Our society has suffered too many cultural shifts and changes in the last four years to simply blame public schools.

But why are we using only tests as the measure of student learning? I agree that all students learn in profoundly different ways, and school choice is an excellent idea to address this. I was fortunate to be a part of a time when Scarborough Schools experimented with multi-age classrooms. Parents had the choice between traditional grades or three-year multi-age groups.

When I taught multi-age, the children benefited from growing together for three years – we all benefited. What changed it? The intense focus on testing, so we had to go back to grouping by grade. We had measured deep learning by collecting portfolios of original work. We knew our students deeply.

I agree that school choice is an excellent idea. I wish public schools would let go of the importance of testing and incorporate more creative and diverse methods of learning into our schools.

However, our Constitution guarantees separation of church and state and, therefore, our tax dollars should not support any religious schools. This is where I differ. Religious schools should only receive money from private donors.

Valerie Razsa

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: