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Kids are going to struggle due to budget cuts
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Usually I read your column and don’t think much about the content.  I generally think you sometimes write things that are your opinions, but not necessarily the truth.  Of course, that is your right, but it doesn’t mean you are correct.  I was reading your article in Tuesday morning’s paper about how you think teachers are lowering the standards and convincing kids they are going to fail in school by stating the truth about how classrooms will change dramatically next year.

The fact is there will be a lot of students who struggle through the next few years in school because of what’s going on now.  Some grade levels will be affected more than others.  I teach junior high.  Having more kids in my class isn’t nearly as big an issue as it is for those teachers in K-6.  It’s a lot more difficult to manage 30+ kids per class in those grades than it is for me, because they require a lot more attention.  Imagine being in a classroom of 35 kids, all between the ages of 6-11 and some who have a variety of emotional or social issues.  How well do you think that’s going to work?

I will say that I do think you are correct that it is a decision to learn.  My experience over the last eight years is that there are way too many parents who don’t care enough about making sure their children are doing their best in school.  I see it year after year, and it’s disturbing.  The parents of those students who really struggle always seem to give what we call “good lip service” during conferences by saying how they’ll make sure their child does what he/she needs to do to get better grades.  This usually fails to be the case in the long run, of course.  Too many parents seem more concerned with chasing the dollar instead of making sure their children are chasing an education.  It’s almost like they want to have the children, but not raise them the way they need to be raised in order to be successful.

Again, I appreciate your views on many topics.  On this one, though, I think maybe your crosshairs are a little off center.  From an educator’s perspective, the lady you quoted from San Francisco was stating the feeling most of us share for the next few years.  It IS going to be more difficult to get the students to learn.  They ARE going to struggle because of bigger class sizes.  It’s not something we’re proud to say, but it is our reality.  Thanks for your time.
Brian Bilbao
June 30, 2009