The League of Women Voters invites the public to attend a luncheon meeting on the topic, "Challenges for Our Schools: Room for Opt-imism?" on March 21 at noon at the White Horse Inn in Cassadaga. The topic will be addressed by three SUNY Fredonia College of Education professors: Dr. Mira Berkley, Dr. Larry Maheady and Dr. Cynthia Smith.
Much of our future depends on the education of our children today, and the public is bombarded by bad news: our students perform less well on tests of reading and mathematics than those of most developed nations, our high school graduates aren't ready for college, and more. We're told that money is not the solution - that the problem is teachers, or teacher training, and that the remedy is to remove teachers whose students show little gain on required tests, or to penalize schools whose students don't achieve on those same tests. Or we're told that the remedy is to help parents pay for private schooling, or to establish more charter schools, or to provide digital learning alternatives.
What are we to believe? What is actually happening in the schools in our area? What is an adequate measure of student learning? What has been the effect of No Child Left Behind or Race to the Top? Who actually benefits from the various proposed remedies? These are some of the questions the panel will discuss at the March 21 meeting, basing their discussion on their experience in our schools and their knowledge of applicable research.
Reservations for the luncheon may be made by calling Tillie Solomonson at 763-8278. People not wishing to join the League for lunch can come to hear the speakers at 12:50, without reservation and free of charge.