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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rise and Shine --- Upper Darby has it all wrong

Good Morning and welcome to the calm before the storm!

So, in case you missed it, Upper Darby school officials are proposing cutting any 'special' classes throughout the district.
That means Upper Darby students won't have designated music, gym or language classes.
Now, some out there might be saying, "Good. These kids need more time in the classroom."
Well, let me tell you from experience, this is the absolutely worst way to go about bringing up those precious scores.
What students need are more specials. Unfortunately, Upper Darby has decided that teachers spending all their time teaching for a state-mandated test is the road to go down.
Sure, the plan says teachers will fit gym, music and art into their daily curriculum, but we all know that's not happening.
For the first year, there may be some art. After that, it will all be book learning and no time for an outlet.
Last year, a third-grader I knew struggled in his first year in the Upper Darby School District. He was given less time to be a young student while the teachers (through no fault of their own) were doing practice test after practice test and preaching about the importance of the PSSA.
This year, as a fourth-grader, he is excelling in a neighboring school district that puts less emphasis on the standardized testing and more on letting students be children.
By the way, the new school district has never had a problem making the state numbers.
Somebody has to stand up to these cuts. It would be nice if Upper Darby officials had the backbone to see what knocking off all these programs will do to the students.
Yes, I know all about the funding our esteemed Governer has taken from school districts. Yes, I know districts have to take hard looks at their budgets, but just taking a hatchet to programs (and teachers) will do no good in the long run.

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