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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 9, 2013 at 6:31 AM

High-school dropout rate

Don’t just talk the talk

As an elementary-school teacher currently in my 10th year, I agree with The Seattle Times editorial board that much more must be done to decrease the number of high-school dropouts in our state [“Editorial: Lower the dropout rate,” Opinion, May 27].

The editorial highlighted Senate Bill 5237 as a possible steppingstone to achieving that goal. The bill mandates that schools provide greater support for those who are not reading proficiently by third grade. Does the Legislature intend to fully fund those interventions or simply “mandate” that the interventions be provided?

Each year, schools are asked to do more and more with less money, less staff, and fewer resources. If our state senators and representatives truly want to increase student success, they need to put the money where their mouths are and fully fund education.

In lieu of mandates, legislators should put more money toward lowering class size and allowing teachers to meet the increasing, diverse needs of our children. Students who taste success and make connections with their teachers are much more likely to graduate. Those connections are hard to make with 30 second-graders or 45 freshmen in one class.

Our schools don’t need more mandates; they need more dedicated teachers providing instruction, mentoring and timely intervention.

Nycole Swearingen, Lynnwood

Comments | More in Education, Education reform | Topics: dropout, education, high school

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