LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Were teachers, administrators proficient in school?

Published 2:25 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

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In response to the data sets listed in the Sept. 8 article detailing reasons for “low grade level proficiency” in Stanly County Schools, I find it interesting that no one ever asks what the “proficiency” data of the Stanly County Schools administrators, teachers, coaches, etc., were when they were in school?

I can’t help but wonder if we should request the data from their school days be posted publicly. I can hear the vehement “No” being screamed at that suggestion.

Then it might become patently obvious that a C-minus type student 20 years ago, who remained a C-minus student in college and became a NC licensed school teacher or administrator, might only be able to produce C-minus type students today even if their students perfectly attended, instructional money was in ample supply, they remained for several years in the system before moving on, etc.

So, after looking at the data summaries offered in the article, I ask, what was the average college/post-secondary GPA of all of Stanly County Schools paid employees, especially in their “core” classes pertaining to whatever subject they currently teach? What were the Praxis scores? (Professional Licensing Test used in NC.)

My point is not to impugn lack of effort or conviction in pedagogical instruction in local government schools, but simply to point out that sometimes mediocrity can only begat mediocrity, or even worse, a type of subpar mediocrity.

We could even extrapolate this further to ask what was the “proficiency” of the State School Board, the local school board, the End of Grade test writers?

If these individuals in our schooling systems, employed or appointed via elections, were not so “proficient” themselves, maybe it has nothing to do with absences, turnover, lost “educational” time, or other excuses offered us via “data.”

Maybe it is more likely we should reinterpret the famous Latin phrase of the Roman poet Juvenal in his work satires: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Only, this time we should translate it not as “who watches the watchers” but as “who taught these teachers” or “who administered these administrators.”

Daniel Poole