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Letters to the editor - Dec. 25, 2013

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Our schools
I have taught in three different states and five different schools over my 43 years of teaching. I love kids and I love teaching. For the last 13 years, I have taught in the Marion County school system. Over my career, I have worked in inner city schools, high-end private schools, rural middle schools with high poverty numbers, and here in Marion County at an average middle school. Also I have coached high school football, baseball, and academic teams. Some of these schools have been good, some OK, and some great! All of them were trying their best to help each student. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
My experience is that when kids and teachers are held accountable for doing a good job, the results get better! Parents can probably do more than anyone in motivating their children to succeed. Working together produces extraordinary improvements.
Our school district is doing much this year to hold teachers accountable by requiring much more inspection of in-class instruction and providing instructional help with useful feedback.
Results are already improving on national tests. Also, we have invested in a new computer assisted program called Compass, which broadens out ability to reach every kid with assisted self-paced work, available at school and at home.
Today’s job market requires a skill, or set of skills, to get a decent job. Gone are the days when you could get a good job, with good pay, at any of a number of factories in the area.
Please contact your school, your child’s teachers on a regular basis.
We are very anxious to hear your concerns and ideas! Together we can make dreams come true!
Richard Crum
Science teacher
St. Charles Middle School