Sometimes it seems that I cannot understand or believe what I read in the paper.

Some "educators" in Alabama are concerned about a requirement that third-grade students should be required to be able to read at grade level before going into fourth grade? Horrors!

To think that any student should have to be able to read at grade level is unfair, impolite, discriminatory, and downright nasty — not to mention a perversion of the idea of education.

Decatur Superintendent Michael Douglas should be ashamed of himself for asking, "Why are we rushing?" After all, today's first-graders have only three years to get ready for the test. Three years and they are only six years old now!

Douglas also makes a fool of himself when he suggests that teachers "are not properly trained" to prevent “a train wreck." If first-, second-, and third-grade teachers are not properly trained to teach reading, then why are they being employed as early elementary teachers?

Alabama Superintendent Eric Mackey should resign and cancel his teaching credentials if he really believes that "it's an ambitious timeline." When our educators talk in this fashion, it is an embarrassing admission of abject failure to teach and to expect students to excel, and is more evidence of the fact that students in government schools are being taught what to think instead of how to think.

It's no wonder that with attitudes like this, more and more parents are seeking alternative solutions to the current overcrowded and discipline-lacking day care centers called public schools.

James Adie


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