Education letters 03/22

Business as usual not working for schools

I was amazed to read state School Superintendent Kathy Cox’s assertion that, “If there are further cuts to school system funding, then we can’t expect things to be business as usual.” The taxpayers don’t want public school k-12 education to be business as usual.

We have seen business as usual for too many years and know that it produces inefficient school systems with bloated bureaucracies and underperforming students. As we learned on the AJC education blog, Gwinnett has 113 employees per 1,000 pupils, while Cobb has 144 and DeKalb has 157. I don’t know whether 113 employees per 1,000 pupils are too many, but I know that 144 and 157 are too many.

Business as usual has gotten us to this point, but business as usual won’t get us past it to efficient, high-performing school systems.

Christopher Johnston, Atlanta

Online practice tests ready kids for CRCTs

I am very proud of my grandson who has taken more than 30 online CRCT practice exams. Many kids who take tests don’t take enough time to understand what is being asked. Upon his review of his answers with his parents, my grandson is learning to understand the question before providing an answer; so, he is learning the test-taking process. But, because the questions have to do with the subjects he is taking, he is also learning the educational content.

If all parents would enable their kids to practice the online CRCT, maybe kids would learn to take tests and the content of the tests. Now, I know that’s easy for me to say: my grandson has a computer at home, goes to a good school which encourages their students to take practice tests, and has involved parents. What about kids who don’t?

I am so impressed with the value of these practice tests that I want to encourage parents, teachers, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, libraries and charitable institutions to explore how every child for whom such practice tests are available has the opportunity and encouragement to take these online practice exams.

Truman Moore, Atlanta

Don’t let state colleges restrict our gun rights

Brenau University president Ed Schrader opposes Senate Bill 308, which would eliminate the ban on firearms within 1,000 feet of a university. He claims the restriction does not affect the Second Amendment rights of Georgians. What about the rights of citizens whose home is within 1,000 feet of a university? Does this mean they are prohibited from owning firearms?

All this does is tell the criminals they will not encounter armed resistance when they assault residents of the “gun free” zones. Criminals ignore gun bans. We don’t call them criminals because they obey the law.

If a private university, after due deliberation, wishes to preclude legal possession of firearms on its campus, that should be their choice. But don’t restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens outside of the boundaries of the university.

Robert Brown, Peachtree City

Deep school cuts are more than cosmetic

Fulton County Schools’ reduction of 1,000 educators next year is a tragedy. Quality schools cost money, but the state has ignored its own funding targets for the last seven years. Having much higher class sizes and many fewer teachers, counselors and social workers will be a tremendous blow to raising graduation rates and having an educated population. How can we attract high-paying jobs to an area where education is not valued?

These cuts are not cosmetic. They will be felt in the quality of our education, and as decreased property values for years to come.

Colleen Jones, Alpharetta