Schools need more memorization, common sense

To the Editor:

A big deal is being made of Connecticut’s educational problem. So-called experts are being called in from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and paid enormous amounts of money. Dear Abby answered a letter by saying, “Teachers are so overwhelmed trying to get their students to learn enough basic curriculum to pass the state-mandated tests they don’t have time!”

The key word is “overwhelmed!” When did they become “overwhelmed?” They have had a total of nine years, from kindergarten through eighth grade, and four more years of high school. That’s 13 years of educational hours to teach elementary reading, writing and arithmetic sufficiently to enter college.

What is the problem? Is it possible that for 13 years all the teachers are all overwhelmed?

The problem is caused because the curriculum doesn’t require the students to memorize the basic tools necessary to move forward.

The memorization of multiplication (times) tables, so they cannot do math beyond adding and subtracting.

They are not required to memorize 20 spelling words a day, so they cannot read, write or spell correctly. They are unable to look up a word in a dictionary.

They are unable to read their own greeting cards or their own diplomas.

Teachers are required to teach the curriculum? Who has caused this dumbing down of our educational system? We don’t need expensive “Wizard of Oz” experts with smoke, mirrors and promises.

Teachers claim some parents have too much influence. Others, the one-parent families, struggling, too young, too uneducated, overwhelmed, are unable to offer their children a proper example and support.

We need a common sense approach, and willingness to discuss educational problems with our knowledgeable, experienced teachers.

Dick De Witt


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