Students are doing well in school

Editor, The Record:

Re: Too many people’s heads buried in reality TV, Oct. 19 edition.

In a letter ostensibly about Wal-Mart, Robert T. Rock ambles off into what he sees as a related category: education, a subject he proves himself singularly incapable of approaching fairly or rationally.

Today’s students — the ones Mr. Rock seems to be referring to in his letter as poorly educated — are all expected to graduate from Grade 12. We are, therefore, teaching every single student until graduation, not as in, say 1934 or 1954, when just the few talented or motivated students chose to stick around for an education.

So, yes, today we have the inevitable challenges associated with the mandate to “educate everyone,” such as teaching to 10 different ability levels in one math class, or “teaching” students whose parents can’t seem to get them to school on time, or at all. Yet, today’s Canadian students still have the highest literacy rates in the world, thanks to their teachers and parents.

As well, according to all recent studies, including OECD PISA results (the gold-standard of world education system comparisons), Canada, and especially B.C., ranks between third and fifth in all skill areas, including math and science, and especially literacy. Just as a comparison, the U.S., not surprisingly, is down near 17 or 20, while only Finland and Korea rank slightly higher than Canada.

So, while I still agree with Mr. Rock’s views on Wal-Mart, I am shocked and disappointed with his statement that I — a teacher — “pretend to teach” and my students “pretend to learn.”

Maybe the young student who graduated in June, and is now studying at Bryn Mawr, was under the influence of some sort of magical substance when she emailed me last week to say how much she appreciated that I had taught her essay writing skills that have made her life as a university student so much better? Is she “pretending?”

Or, my current students who are designing, of their own volition, a campaign of action against Wal-Mart and other corporations who abuse their labour forces here and abroad: are they just “pretending”? I could regale you with many more examples, but I think I have made my point: today’s students are doing fine.

I have supported my assertions, Mr. Rock, with both statistical and anecdotal evidence; you have done nothing but assert your narrow-minded opinions. As I said, I am with you in your stance on Wal-Mart; however, when you start indulging your unfortunate penchant for mean-spirited vitriol, I sincerely wish you would “beam [yourself] out of here,” because you are adding nothing to any debate: you are merely a garden variety gadfly.

Steve Moore

Mission

Just Posted

water
City begins community engagement for Mission Waterfront Revitalization Master Plan

Wants the community’s input to bring to life the vision outlined in the Official Community Plan

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

web
Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Young dog was missing for almost a week after incident

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Most Read