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Novice teachers, inferior education: A letter of concern

8/21/2014, 12:29 p.m.

Dear Miami Times,

Recently, I read an article that seemed to expose Miami Dade County Schools for its failure to adequately educate all students. A report by the National Council on Teacher Equality, initiated by the Urban League of Greater Miami, found that sixty percent of first year educators are assigned to the district's poorest and worst performing schools.

District 1 and 2 represent a large percentage of the schools being affected by this sad and shameful situation. Therefore, according to the report, mostly Black and Hispanic students receive classroom instruction from "teachers who are new to the profession, who miss more school time and who receive lower evaluation scores".

It gets worse.

This school year, Miami Dade County schools will implement Common Core Standards/Florida Standards and administer an exam to determine proficiency. When an exam under Common Core in New York was administered to students only 16.1% of African-American students and 17.7% of Hispanic students met or exceeded standards.

A perfect storm is developing--unproven and underprepared teachers, students with pronounced skill gaps, and an exam more challenging than the FCAT. Undoubtedly, this tremendous calamity is about to cause major damage to the most vulnerable and poorest of the poor students in Miami Dade County schools. And yet, the silence is deafening from the leadership.

I worry about the students who have matriculated through an educational system where they received an inferior education. What has become of those students? What will become of the students currently enrolled in schools in District 1 and 2? We need to remember what the noted psychiatrist, Karl Menninger, MD once said, "What's done to children, they will do to society." Our attention to this matter is paramount!

-ROBERT MALONE JR.