Regarding The Associated Press news story “ American students' skills lag on international test ”: That Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called American students' lagging test results on the Program for International Student Assessment “a picture of educational stagnation” reflects the disappointment and concern of many people. With ongoing endeavors, from teacher in-service education to applications of instructional technology, hopes remain that our students' achievement gains will materialize.
However, for Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, to say that “(i)n the United States, we don't have the commitment for all kids and it needs to change” is an insult to members of the NEA who work with energy, determination and, yes, commitment to help “all kids” learn and achieve. Exactly who is the “we” that he chastises for lack of commitment to the vision for increased student success? Students' parents? Teachers? Taxpayers? School administrators? Corporate mentors? Legislators? President Obama?
Van Roekel's opinion is yet another “good excuse” for the lack of achievement. Rather than disparage the many Americans who value, support and are committed to students and their educational achievement, he needs to reaffirm his own commitment to all kids' achievement and demonstrate the leadership required to attain that commitment.
Linda M. Romito
The writer is a retired principal of North Allegheny School District's Peebles Elementary School.
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