Letters to the Editor

Educational system left behind a good thing for no good reason

I read the letter by Patricia Milley about dropouts and remedial classes. I hate to tell her this, but they tried that - more than 60 years ago (Heavens to Betsy, has it been that long). When I was in school in Pennsylvania, parents fought for remedial classes. Let our children be graded with their “peers” was their goal. Finally, schools gave in and there were remedial classes in math and reading.

Math being simple - add, subtract, multiply and divide - teachers were happy because they could teach on a level that the students could grasp.

The students were happy that they could “keep up.” Parents were happy because their children were learning useful skills. Well, not all parents were happy. Some took it as a personal affront that their child was put in a remedial class. They didn’t want their child in the “dummy class” (their words). They wanted them in the regular classroom, thus mainstreaming was born.

A wise person once said, “Beware of a minority person with a cause.” They were referring to the lady (I use the term lady loosely) who got prayer out of the schools, but it is an accurate analogy in a lot of issues. I’ll bet that if someone had the statistics available to research it, they would find that the dropout rate and discipline problems that are prevalent now began to rise with mainstreaming.

My father used to say, “If it isn’t broke - don’t fix it.”

Remedial classes weren’t broke.

Ellie Kloes, Longs