BY JOSEPH DEMARCO – In the 10 years I’ve taught at Waianae Intermediate, I’ve watched the school go from a place where 3% of the student population met the standard to over 60% meeting the standard in English and nearly 50% in math.
Every year consecutively we have gone up English and with one exception every year we have gone up in math. So you can understand my confusion when the public comes down hard on teachers. I won’t lie, it makes me very upset.
This is the kind of stuff you never hear about Waianae Intermediate HSA test scores have gone up 2,000% since 2001. Similarly, early this year we had elected officials come down to our school (after school of course) and imply that we weren’t doing a very good job. This made me furious. We are really doing everything in our power to do our best.
Do you realize that in my school, 20 percent of students are excessively absent and the school has no real attendance policy to deal with this chunk of the population missing school.
What should be done?
Well, my fellow faculty members seem to think that there is a direct correlation between welfare and missing school or at least welfare and lack of education.
How about if you’re on welfare and your kid doesn’t come to school, maybe you don’t get as much welfare. Or how about welfare incentives, if a child gets all A’s the parent gets this much amount, B’s this much amount and so forth. Yeah, I know how that sounds. But the reality is, if the students aren’t in school, I can’t teach them.