As a D.C. Public School graduate and a retired educator I was heartbroken to read Sarafina Wright’s article, “PARCC Results Abysmal for D.C. High Schools” in The Informer. There is something fundamentally wrong with the way the D.C. school system is approaching these very serious problems. Our society cannot continue to use these same old excuses for not being able to educate our children. Sooner or later we have to admit that these new approaches to education are not working and return to teaching these students in a more basic traditional way. This continuing disaster of labeling students as “Special Ed” has gotten completely out of hand and needs to be reevaluated. Years ago, the D.C. public schools had a track system where students were put onto paths of learning based on their skill levels and were taught on that level. Students weren’t competing against others who were more advanced, so they weren’t intimidated to participate in class. We need to use a modified system like that to encourage learning on all levels. Still, educators cannot take all of the blame alone; parents and guardians are also part of the blame. Many of the parents have no idea what their children are doing in school. For that matter, they don’t even know if they are going to school on a regular basis or not; that has to change. Parents have to become more involved. Finally, students have to be shown that learning can change their lives and that if they put in the work now, it will pay off later. That means having opportunities for good-paying entry-level jobs for high school graduates who decide not to go to college.
Kenneth Long, Fort Washington, Md.
Dusty Baker: A Breath of Fresh Air for Nats Fans
I would like to welcome the Washington Nationals’ new manager Dusty Baker to the DMV. As a Nats fan and a baseball fan I am totally pumped about the upcoming season. I believe Dusty will bring some old school baseball to the Nationals, which I believe was what was missing, and was one of the reasons we didn’t go far in the playoffs. I know that players play the game and managers only manage, but when a manager brings a certain philosophy, like what Joe Maddon brought to the Cubs, it changes attitudes. I think Dusty brings that type of attitude. When you play baseball you have to believe you can get a hit when you need to, or you can throw a strike when you need to throw a strike, or steal a base when you need to steal a base, and have that kind of attitude the whole season. Baseball is one of the greatest games ever played and I just love it. I am so happy Dusty Baker is our new manager and I really believe he will make a difference.
James Waller, Washington, D.C.