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Wilson County News • 1012 C St • Floresville • TX • 78114 • Ph: 830-216-4519 • Fax: 830-393-3219 • Email:
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old as dirt  
Wilson Co.  
November 2, 2011 8:32pm
 
I am old enough to have voted for Ike for President, and I can tell you that James Guthrie missed the point comparing the cost of education in 1920 to the present. In 1920, we (tragically) only educated white kids for the most part. The dropout rate was 85% which meant that we did not get an opportunity to educated 85 of every 100 school age kid. The other 15 came to school with supportive parents, and they all spoke English. Now we don't have 85 unskilled jobs for 85 dropouts out of every 100 students. The world has changed!

The US has changed! Houston ISD alone has 19 different bilingual programs to teach kids from all over the world, and to blend them into our English speaking society. In some south Texas schools, 3/4 of their kindergarten kids arrive without English. That is not the children's fault, but it is a reality that those school have to address. US schools are expected to teach all 100 kids whether they want to be there our not, whether they are ready are not, whether they are poor or not,...and we should not forget that some of our kids come from drug invested homes.

Now lets talk about the poverty in which many of our kids live. Poor children do not grow up in print rich homes. They arrive at kindergarten behind in reading skills, they often don't know the five basic colors, they don't know how to count even to 10, some don't know their last name, they don't know the first names of their parents, and some don't know how to use indoor plumbing (which is a tragedy in and of itself). Poverty is a killer of learning.

Finally, if we want to improve education in the US, we need to double, maybe even triple, the salaries of our teachers and educators. They are in charge of our most precious resource, tomorrow's workforce. I pay my secretary more money than any of my school teaching nieces and nephews, all of which have 25 years of experience or more. One of my nephews, just with a high school diploma makes more at WalMart than his sister earns teaching high school with a Masters degree in Chemistry. In most of the developed countries around the world, teachers are paid like doctors, engineers,etc. How we pay ours is immoral...and shortsighted!
     
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