A Young Mind is Too Precious to Waste


Image courtesy Pixabay.

The major purpose of education in our country is to prepare our children to be active and knowledgeable citizens, fully engaged in our economic, social and political processes. 

We believe that important components of preparing students for such engagement are that:

• All students must be able to read, write, perform mathematical functions and understand science at the appropriate grade level. 

• All students need to be exposed to our basic economic, societal and political institutions so that they understand how our country and world operate.

• All students need to develop thinking skills to collect and verify information, analyze different points of view, identify bias and draw and evaluate conclusions.

• All students must develop dispositions that enable and motivate them to engage in thinking independently, listening with understanding to the points of view of others, working in groups and being able to discuss, debate and solve problems.

• All students need to be taught in a physically, intellectually and emotionally safe environment that encourages listening to different perspectives, enabling them to solve real-life problems in a cooperative fashion within their local institutions, including family, friends, clubs, teams and communities.

• A successful education is a collaborative product of teachers, school boards, administrators and parents, all with important roles.

We acknowledge that there are different points of view about educational issues; conversations about these issues should respect these differences and all participants should be treated with respect and dignity.

We believe that different options should exist for educating students and parents have the right to choose what they think is best for their children.

How does our Report Card look?

• In Sarasota, 66% of the students score level 3 and above in reading (meaning ready for the next grade level, likely to excel at the next grade level or highly likely to excel at the next grade level) and 71% in math. (Niche.com using Florida State Assessment data)

• Statewide in Florida students in grades 3-8 score 52% in reading and 55% in math. (Florida State Assessment data)

• Nationally, 33% of our 4th grade students are considered at grade level or above in reading and 31% of our 8th grade students are at or above, 37% of our High School seniors across the country read at grade level, and 24% of our seniors nationally are proficient in math. (NAEP Nation Report Card 2019)

• Internationally, our 8th graders rank 12th out of 29 other countries around the world and our 4th graders rank 15th out of 58 countries in math.  (2019 Trends in International Mathematics and Science)

What can we as responsible citizens do?

As Parents: Support our children and grandchildren in their educational process.  It starts with the Family! Get involved in your local parent association. Stay abreast of the most current information about our students’ performance, i.e., test scores, graduation rates, post-secondary placements, etc.

As citizens: Elect responsible, high quality School Board Members who reflect the characteristics stated earlier.

Robert Gary, Nancy Greenhouse, Scott GrayPaul HylbertLucie LapovskyLynn LarsonEd SabolHerb Soroca, Becky van der Bogert and Shawna West are part of Miracle on the Key, a group of five Democrats and five Republicans devoted to civil dialogue as a means to address our country’s opportunities and problems.

Image courtesy Pixabay.

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