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[Susan notes:
Great. Think of all the other editorial boards to whom the phrase arrogant posturing can be applied.



The author, a fifth grade teacher in Tampa, is active in the Florida resistance: director, co-editor of F-TREND and web designer and manager.]

Published in The News-Press
01/07/2006

To the editor

I am writing to express my dismay with your editorial, "Don't go soft on reforms," Dec. 28.



Imagine this teacher's surprise to find out that "Retaining students, or holding them back a grade if they haven't earned the needed credits or met testing standards, is the bedrock of reform." All the evidence indicates that if retention is the bedrock of anything, it is the bedrock of failure failure on the part of a society that isn't smart enough or doesn't care enough to think of a better way, and failure for students whose hopes and dreams are crushed by an unthinking, unfeeling system.



Imagine this teacher's surprise to find that those of us who oppose mandatory retention only do so because we "believe retaining students deals them an unnecessarily harsh emotional blow." Well, yes, it likely does, but retention has very real, tangible consequences, all of them negative. Educators shouldn't be expected to "hang tough," but rather, to do what's right for each and every individual child in our care. Goodness knows we have to care about these kids, because your editorial board doesn't seem to!



Before your editorial board goes on record with such arrogant posturing, perhaps they should do what an editorial board is supposed to do research the issue and find out what they're talking about.



John Perry


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