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home : insight & opinion : letters to the editor September 15, 2014

2/13/2014 1:36:00 PM
'Basic skills' still need to be prioritized


I enjoyed reading Ms. Mikeworth's response to my letter to the editor about increasing taxes for education, but I think the major point of my letter was missed.  It was about surveys saying many people support increased taxes for schools  even though most folks in Crawford County voted against this the last election.  There were only three lines in the letter that talked about prioritization.

     But - lets talk about prioritization a bit.  "In my own personal opinion" - grade, middle and high school should be about basic education.  Basic education which prepares the person to move on to either a job, join the military, go to a trade school, to a junior college or to a university.  High school is not the place to prepare anyone for the many skills needed in today's technical world and further education is certainly needed.  But if they don't get the basics - yes, reading, writing, and arithmetic - they will be ill prepared to move on in life.  Many universities will admit that a lot of students should have gone to a local community college to better "prepare" themselves for higher education due to their inadequate reading comprehension and writing skills.  Even military recruiters are frustrated that many applicants can't pass a basic battery of tests necessary for enlistment even though they have a high school diploma.  Why?  Their basic skills are not strong enough to compete in a more academically challenging or technical environment. 

     Let's face it.  We can't teach everything a child needs to know for the rest of their life in grade, junior, or high school.  They should be challenged and pushed toward higher education.  But let's at least "demand" that when they graduate high school they have enough skills to be able to move forward in life not held back by not having the ability to read a job or college application form, write a resume' or be able to figure out their own finances.  And yes - if that means we have to prioritize the courses being offered while other skills are deferred - I'm for it.


Phil Montgomery


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