Not a responsible editorial

The Parkersburg News editorial accusing teachers and union representatives were making excuses for test scores lower than other states was labeled unconscionable. The editor also stated the teachers of today were not preparing students like educators, who once worked in one-room school houses. The education community was not to have any excuses for lower than expected performance regardless of existing obstacles children/teens face in their lives.

1. Teachers of today take their charge extremely serious Pre-K through 12.

2. One room school houses pre-World War II did not have standardized testing, which would have shown students were lagging behind peers.

3. Students attend the same schools, on the same days and receive the same lessons within the schools they attend. Some students choose to take advantage of educational opportunities and extracurricular activities. Other students choose to not apply themselves to academics, sports, musical and art programs.

4. The News will list many honor roll students and acknowledge those who earned scholarships in the coming weeks. I guess the educators did something right for those students in cooperation with the student and caregivers.

5. The research regarding poverty is well documented about social obstacles impacting academic performance. The News chose to lambaste this research as “No Excuse.”

6. In the future, the use of investigative reporting about the existing research about poverty and academic performance would better serve the public and educators.

7. Could a reporter be used to actually interview underperforming students to get some insight about the complex obstacles that make educational settings; lessons; and testing so challenging to them? Their peers are learning in the same settings at award winning levels.

8. There are many factors in the 21st century culture that do not relate to one room school houses of an agrarian society.

9. The caregivers in my life demanded/expected me to perform and conform to educational goals. My Grandfather told me to get an education rather than work in a coal mine on my knees. My parents told me do my best and get no less than a B average.

10. Who is being irresponsible and practicing, misleading negative journalism using a “paintbrush” to accuse educators as making excuses and not caring about students’ performance and learning? That type of journalism is absolutely unconscionable!

The community, students, parents and educators will be better served when The Parkersburg News gets responsible with editorials!

Joseph O. Smith