These are our concerns: A teacher evaluation system that hasn’t been communicated to teachers and the use of test scores that aren’t valid/recommended for that purpose; principals being moved without evaluation or after insufficient time to effect programmatic change and without input from school improvement committees, constituents and school leadership teams. It took a brave principal and teachers to lay out the flaws in the evaluation process to the school board.

We now question statements that James B. Edwards is one of 24 schools with a test-score achievement problem.

Our grandchildren attend this wonderful student-centered, parent/community supported school. If JBE has achievement problems, then there is something systematically going on that needs to be addressed.

Is it class size, curriculum materials, the assessments themselves, test fatigue or too much testing time taken away from instruction, professional development either in academic areas or better instructional strategies, tutoring, or length of the school year or school day?

In literacy we know that reading moves from the mechanics of reading to comprehension; in science it’s a building of content and inquiry skills over time and it’s similar in other academic areas.

Some of the items mentioned above relate here as well. We know that class size increases through the grades and that has to be difficult for students who require more teacher support.

It’s going to take bold actions and increased resources on the part of the school board to fix these systemic problems that now are appearing in schools across the district, and it won’t be more school choice or small-scale pilot programs.

Carol Tempel, Ed.D

George Tempel, Ph.D

Sprague Street

Charleston