Who is looking out for our Farwell students’ education? The average second grade classroom in Michigan should be 25 students per room. Farwell second grade classrooms have approximately 33, 33, 19 and 19 students in each. The two classrooms that have 19 per room are the students being taught Chinese. Add that up and divide by 4. Hmm 26; now that sounds a little better per classroom doesn’t it? Oh, did I mention that the classrooms teaching Chinese have Aides for twice as long if not longer than the other classrooms?
An excellent second grade teacher, Mrs. Marshall, resigned midyear due to overcrowding in her second grade classroom. She was not going to sacrifice quality education for her students and therefore was left no alternative but to retire over Christmas break.
When I start seeing red flags like this I begin to get nervous about what’s really going on. So I began to dig a little deeper. Did you know that the few elementary schools in the U.S. that teach Chinese are much richer districts than Farwell’s? Can we really afford this unproven program that has been implemented at the Farwell Elementary Schools for the last three years without harming the education of the other students?
The superintendent, Carl Seiter stated in the newspaper that our very poor MEAP scores were due to lack of money and that maybe we should just run our money out and close the doors? Huh? He’s making my head swim. We’ve had very good MEAP scores before and on less money. How many years has Mr. Seiter as superintendent had to balance our budget putting the education of our students first? Mr. Seiter claimed when he was hired that his top priority would be to keep close tabs throughout each year on reading and math scores because he knew that was the foundation of ensuring a good education for all our students. Well, did he do that? Mr. Seiter what is your real priority?