Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dems: Reading gate is "poorly-planned"

The Mississippi Democratic Trust issued this press release written by Representative Bobbie Moak (D-Two Sisters):

Punishing Children for the Sins of their Legislators

When children grow up they reach a point where something just clicks. Things that were complex suddenly make perfect sense. Toddlers who could barely crawl can run at a dead sprint within a few days. Children who had difficulty reading the simplest picture books will suddenly jump to chapter books.

Sometimes it takes a great teacher to make that connection happen. Sometimes it’s a parent, a friend, or just finding the right book to capture a student’s attention. Usually it’s a combination of all of these factors creating an environment where children motivate themselves to want to learn. If any ingredients are missing, the process slows to a crawl.

This week, the Greenwood school district announced they would lay off 25 teacher’s assistants. This announcement comes at the same time that Mississippi’s classroom overcrowding is getting worse. Personal instruction is even harder to find. The public school classroom has reached a point of crisis, and our legislative leadership has decided to make the problem exponentially worse.

This year, Gov. Phil Bryant pushed for a “3rd Grade Reading Gate.” It is an accountability measure that holds children back a grade if they fail to adequately learn to read.  Like a lot of the grand education plans of this administration, it sounds good on paper, but if they took the time to read their own talking points they might figure out it’s going to be a disaster.

Gov. Bryant based this plan on a highly successful 3rd grade reading gate program implemented in Florida. However, there is a stark contrast in the current educational climates of these states: Florida invests more than a billion dollars in a pre-k program that ensures each child has all of the resources necessary to achieve proficient literacy.

Gov. Bryant, on the other hand, opposes funding for a similar program. We spend 3 cents on preschool for every dollar Florida spends.  This pays for fewer than 50 literacy coaches to help nearly 40,000 third graders in the state.  To make matters worse, Gov. Bryant and the Legislative Leadership refuse to fund MAEP which funds the teacher assistants, (which help pre-k children learn to read) and schools like Greenwood and others have to lay off the very people who help our children learn to read before the 3rd grade.

Our children have been set up to fail, based largely on lack of funding, a stalwart position of the Bryant administration. To make the problem worse, we will now be holding approximately 7,000 more children in the third grade, but the state budget provides no extra funds to accommodate such a severe logjam of students packing 3rd grade classrooms.

Over the long term, significantly more children will be in K-12 school for 14 years, instead of 13. Schools that have been strapped under years of underfunding will now be forced to stretch budgets even thinner to accommodate an extra year of schooling for about 18% of Mississippi students.

This administration thought this would be a good way to continue their assault on Mississippi educations by “holding teachers accountable.” But it’s our children that must pay the price for the legislature’s hostile relationship with education.

This poorly planned law asks 9-year-old children to fix a problem the Governor and our legislative leadership can’t seem to comprehend. Holding children back and creating an unfunded mandate for public schools in Mississippi isn’t the answer.

Perhaps it is time for the voters of our state to hold the Governor and legislative leadership accountable for creating rules that set our children up to fail. The reading gate for the legislature should start with the writing on the wall: fully fund our schools.

Rep. Bobby Moak


Anonymous said...

Yes, and Common Core was thoroughly planned out and tested.

Public education is a sham, implemented by know-nothing legislators, and implemented by educators who focus more on social engineering than actual education.

Anonymous said...

Note the typical Democrat, progressive, pick the term, argument- all about mo money! Never about personal responsibility. Parents are responsible for the children they have and that responsibility extends to their education. Want your child to read - pay for it! Stop taxing me for the 3 minutes of sexual gratification you had creating little Johnny or Jane.

Anonymous said...

Things will not improve much until discipline and respect are restored to teachers. BUT, in lieu of 3rd grade reading requirement, social promotion guarantees drop-out and graduation rates remain static. The writer seems to forget that we have head start and day care places devoted to helping pre-schoolers in reading readiness. The children who truly suffer are those who are at home with illiterate adults who ignore them and who do not make 5 year olds attend Kindergarten. Maybe Greenwood should consider parent volunteers or retired persons to volunteer to help with reading. Maybe they should seek grants to obtain iPads and use the on-line reading tools. Maybe they should look at cutting Administrative costs. Of course, the current Federal demand for labels and numbers and the obsession with counting everything including caloric intake/student adds excessively to cost per student. What the state is trying to accomplish is certainly a change and without changing the status quo we know what the results will be.

Anonymous said...

translation : 25 people are about sign up for unemployment benefits.

Uncle Feedus said...

Teachers' Assistants (properly spelled) don't teach children to read. They allow the teacher to stay out of the classroom, help children locate their coats and bring the teachers home-baked snacks to help them get through the day.

Serving no useful purpose (otherwise), these people are just a notch below employees who drive the van labeled 'Friends Of Children' ~ another glaring ripoff.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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