Regarding the May 21 news article “Smart, low-income students excluded from gifted classes”: The ‘Counted Out’ series on the difficulties that lower-income children and their families have in accessing higher level or “gifted” classes is important. I’ve long wondered if there is a larger systemic approach to tracking and reporting such data. Clearly, there is much to learn. This is a good beginning to this conversation. I’m looking to hear more from our state leaders on the political (funding) side and the academic (education) side about how North Carolina schools and communities can work to change the status quo.
Parents not always available
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Regarding the May 25 Letter to the Editor “Parental involvement needed”: I agree that parental involvement is extremely important. I was surprised, however, that the letter didn’t mention how difficult this can be for parents of low-income students.
Three factors come to my mind immediately: 1) Both parents have jobs and are unavailable to meet with teachers 2) They may be non-English speakers and find it difficult to communicate with teachers 3) The parents themselves are under-educated and don’t know how to help their children by speaking with their teachers.
I believe it is extremely rare for a parent of a “bright low-income student” to not want the best for their child. Having volunteered to work with and mentor a low-income student, I know how important it is for each and every child to have a spokesperson. A teacher, and/or a mentor, can be that person. Those who really want to do something about this issue should volunteer to tutor/mentor at their local school.
Fix what’s broken
Regarding the May 25 news article “Report: 23 million more uninsured with health bill”: I encourage the Senate to work on improving the Affordable Care Act and removing obstacles to its success rather than tinkering with the disastrous American Health Care Act passed by the House. How can the Senate even consider taking away health insurance from millions of people?
I am currently on Medicare, but as a self-employed person purchased independent insurance for most of my career. The ACA was a welcome option for obtaining coverage and joining a larger group. The system of employer-provided insurance, while it was useful in the days when people stayed with one employer their whole lives, would no longer be an effective way of insuring everyone. Health insureance should go the way of pensions, allowing people to transport their health care along with their retirement. The ACA is a start. A public option would give it a real assist.