As postscript to Catherine Rampell’s May 5 column “An instructive educational mess,” warning North Carolina not to follow Kansas education’s recent downhill plunge: In my Kansas childhood (1930s) and for decades before, public education there, right through college, was known for excellence.
Many readers have seen online an 1895 eighth-grade final exam from Salina, Kan., a test I’d challenge today’s 12th-graders to pass.
Yet in Kansas now, blind, stupid adherence to wrongheaded political ideology has dragged those once-great schools so far down they’re cutting days off the school year for lack of funds.
Meanwhile, legislators in Raleigh just can’t wait to shove North Carolina schools farther along the same fatal path Kansas took. Do we learn nothing from others’ experience?
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Before marrying in 1895, my paternal grandparents each taught in 11-grade, rural, one-room schools 40 miles from Salina. They probably gave tests like Salina’s. Grandmother was the finest teacher I’ve ever known.
It hurts me as it would them to see Kansas (and North Carolina?) commit slow suicide by destroying public education.
Also, a recent fundraising mailer from Kansas State, my alma mater, thanks the Koch brothers (HQ Wichita) for their “generosity.” To which I say a loud, “Hmph!”
Ann T. Berry