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
601-668-4194

5 comments:

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, liberal...you 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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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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Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

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.

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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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