Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: There is a lot of authority in being able to sign yourself "5th grade teacher." Kudos.]

Published in Fresno Bee

To the editor

Dan Walters is right when he says that the drastically cut

vocational programs in California have hurt the public at

large. The lack of political support for realistic,

perfectly viable paths for someone to be economically

successful in, has bottlenecked the routes through which

our youth can be trained. Although he refers to the latest

study on "dropout factories," he is wrong when he implies

that public schools are the problem. The current national

movement towards exit exams, supported by business

roundtables, has INCREASED the number of dropouts

in those states that have them. California's dropout rate

has grown by 4 percent since the inception of high stakes

tests. Conversely, those states that have developed

portfolio diploma programs, such as Wyoming, are much

more likely to have higher rates of graduation.

The fact is

that the vast majority of the dropouts have occurred in

areas of high poverty, such as the poorest areas of

L.A. Poverty is a powerful precursor for struggles in

school. The fact is, in order to prepare all types of

students for the real world, they need to be given

the opportunity to problem solve and experience it

without a bubble sheet to terrorize them.

Joseph Lucido, 5th Grade Teacher

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.