Next Year May Be The Year Of The Panthers

Dear Editor

With the passing of another football season, another opportunity for the Panthers to win their first Super Bowl title has passed.

I don’t know why, but I have a hunch that next season may be the one. It would be so fantastic for the whole state if they can do it!

Dayton Kingery



Innovation Or Results: Let’s Go For Results

Dear Editor,

In a recent article, Kenya Donaldson, the president of the GCAE, complimented Dr. Contreras for her focus on innovation over the last five years. I am old school but feel strongly that we should evaluate performance based on results. Innovative/New does not mean improved. So, have results improved?  

Safety: Are our schools safer? Do students show improved respect for teachers, staff and fellow students? Is there less fighting? Are disruptive students dealt with appropriately? 

Academic Performance: can our students read and do math at grade level? 

For the safety questions, my data suggests that our schools are not safer. Teachers, staff members and fellow students are not treated with the level of respect we expect. Disruptive students are allowed to continue to disrupt. Teachers are not supported. Behavior standards are being lowered in order to chase some illusionary goal of reduced suspensions.

For academic progress, less than half of our elementary, middle and high school students are rated as proficient in reading or math (pre-covid). (It has gotten worse in the last two years!).

Shouldn’t we all be alarmed! 

Isn’t is fair to say this is a failure to educate?  At the same time our system touts a graduation rate of 91.4 percent. Something does not add up here! If less than half are not proficient in elementary school, why are we not intervening so the same cohort does not show up in middle and high school unable to pass the proficiency tests? Shouldn’t we ask how 91.4 percent can be graduating? Doesn’t this suggest the graduation standard is “warm body”? 

I have talked to school board members Anita Sharpe and Linda Welborn about these issues and know that they are committed to turning the situation around. I suggest that we need more school board members who align with Anita and Linda if we want to have a safe environment in our schools and reasonable academic standards. We also need the next superintendent to be a person who is committed to safe schools and academic achievement for all students.   

Gene Parker