School ratings bring out Chicken Littles

To the editor:

In reading Saturday’s front- page article in the Review-Journal (“New evaluations smack schools”), you would think the Review-Journal was Chicken Little and the sky was falling. The change in grading our educational system gives our school district a less shiny light, and you were quick to jump on the critic boat and shake an ugly beak at our kids and the institution they have been tossed into through no fault of their own.

The development of human growth is not like the setup of the computer I type my opinion upon. I can select the type of information I want my computer to have for my use, and the computer responds by allowing me to do things I need to do. I can give my computer five stars until something malfunctions and it stops doing what I want. So I take my computer to a technician, who either fixes it or advises me to get a new one. This is an analytic, mechanical system for a machine, and it works.

Human physical and mental growth develops at a varied pace, which we have no problems accepting until kids start school. Some walk early, some talk early, some walk late and some talk late. There is no rating system to label our children at this early age because we realize no two children, even from the same family, will show growth at the same rate. Yet as our children grow older, we think more that they are machines, like my computer, and they should all do the same thing at the same time, same place.

Just because at eighth or ninth grade — or any grade for that matter — children can’t do what we believe they should, we shouldn’t take the ludicrous attitude that those children are defective or failures. Children might not learn a level of math until they’re in their 20s or older, when they realize they need it.

If you want to increase the graduation rate, change what you expect them to learn and try to steer their learning to whatever would be of interest to them now and in later life. Giving standardized tests and giving ratings to those scores never will be a true indicator of human growth. We need to stop the Chicken Littles from labeling our children with stars, and start realizing their growth is more dependent on their need, not a test score.

JIM HAYES

LAS VEGAS

Driving without insurance

To the editor:

It’s outrageous that, in a time of high unemployment, a woman who invaded our country and flauts our laws is holding down a job that could be taken by an American citizen (“Law fosters freedom, safety,” June 3 Review-Journal). She should be fired, first of all. Maybe after enough unemployment, she would self-deport, as many illegal immigrants are doing.

But beyond that consideration, what about the fact that she has admitted to driving without a license and (I assume) insurance? If she hits someone, who is going to pay, Gov. Brian Sandoval?

DAVE HAWLEY

LAS VEGAS

Our children

To the editor:

In reading the Review-Journal article about precious Brooklynn Mohler (“Girl’s death shocks classmates,” June 6),” I think of her family and friends. Our children — who are ours to love and care for — see and read and hear about other kids getting killed these days. What do the children think? Is it getting to be the norm for them, for society? I pray to God it is not.

When I was growing up 50 years ago, I never heard about a classmate or friend getting killed, nor did I see newspaper stories about children who were killed, accidentally or otherwise.

It’s a very different world these days, and we need to watch over and protect our children as much as we can.

SUSIE RUSSELL-WAGNER

LAS VEGAS

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