To the Editor:
I have four children who are all still in the Bayonne Public School system, attending National Blue Ribbon School Washington Community School. My children are proud to be students at WCS. The Jersey Journal says that our school district will lower the passing grade level to a 65. Are you kidding me? This is a disgrace. It sends a very poor message to the students.
The article says that this has been in discussions with officials for several months and was passed at the July 25th Board of Education meeting. This meeting should have been advertised and the public should have been made aware of what was being discussed. How can you compare Bayonne to what is going on in Secaucus, Weehawken, and North Bergen? Maybe those towns should look at our school standards and do what we do, not the other way around.
Motivation, just like everything else, starts at home! Why not teach students what they can achieve if they show up, study a little harder, and do the work they are assigned? By enforcing this program, you have just parents off the hook from being on top of the kids doing better. And you really let the kids off the hook. They know if they do the bare minimum of work, they will get by and pass anyway. My kids have been told that the harder they study, the better they will do. It is not alright for them to bring home a 65. Study hard and you will be fine. Those kids should not be given the same passing grade as a child who studied, unless he or she earned it. What about all the kids who have had to go to summer school for getting below a 70? What do you tell all those kids and their parents? What do you tell seniors who are now going through the college process? They cannot afford to have 65s. Colleges are looking at their grades, their SATs and ACTs.
The teachers and administrators get paid through my tax dollars. What are you doing for us now? It is for reasons like this that I believe the school board should be elected. The mayor should not be allowed to appoint someone to the board because they are a friend. These men and women should have to have a certain amount of education to be on the board. They are making decisions they are not qualified to make. I’m not saying all of them are unqualified, but if you do your homework, you’ll know who they are. As a taxpayer in Bayonne, we pay over $13,000 a year for our children to go to school and they have the nerve to increase this to over $2 million. For what? To tell me and everyone else that it’s alright for our kids to fail? Now you’ve just made a mockery of our schools and all the hard work teachers do.
CHERIE LA PELUSA