State Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, last week joined those upset over the fact that a Trenton elementary school has not been giving students letter grades this year because of they have not been taught by properly qualified teachers.
“The situation at Kilmer Elementary is completely unacceptable. The system has failed these students,” said Sen. Turner, in a statement. “These students cannot afford to fall behind, and ultimately they’ve been denied a full year’s worth of education. We need to know who dropped the ball here, and why nobody spoke up for almost an entire year.”
Students in the eighth grade at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School have received instruction in math and language arts from substitute teachers, according to reports, which district officials have attributed to difficulty in filling positions at the school.
Instead of receiving letter grades like in a normal educational system, the students originally received pass or fail grades. Residents and parents became upset over the ambiguity in the grades received by their children, but district official claim they will make efforts to assign letter grades in the near future.
For Superintendent Rodney Lofton and the Board of Education – hand-picked by Mayor Douglas H. Palmer – the grading problems represent just one more conflagration that can only be extinguished by some kind of improvement in Trenton’s failing public schools.
Many of the board members have been around for many consecutive education scandals, and the newcomer, Mr. Lofton, has now been around for several of his own.
But the whole group usually manages to shirk responsibility for many of the problems onto teachers or administrators, rather than themselves – the higher-ups responsible for shaping the district’s overall direction and conduct.
Doesn’t anyone see a problem here?