Concerned about the current ELA scores

I am writing to express my concerns about the current ELA scores of students in our district and throughout the state.

To understand this complex problem,  I needed to understand where the breakdown existed. All schools have a standard curriculum being taught and tested. South Carolina ELA standards state that students in first grade are learning to identify parts of speech. I recently collected data from about 15 students in the district. They were in grades 4th through 6th at various schools. They struggled to identify a noun or a verb in a sentence. It was heartbreaking.

Upon further investigation, I have noticed a concerning trend in the use of headphones so that all components are audible to the student. Instead of having to read instructions, test questions, or other information, the student can listen to the text to complete assignments and tests. While technology can be beneficial in many ways, it is important to not rely solely on it for educational purposes. By reducing the amount of reading in every subject, we are doing a disservice and hindering their reading skills. An average of 30% proficiency rate in ELA is astounding.

Reading is a fundamental skill that is crucial for academic success and should not be replaced by technology. It is essential for students to read questions and answers in order to fully comprehend and analyze the material. By relying on headphones, students are missing out on the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and reading skills.

I understand the importance of incorporating technology into our education system, but it should not come at the expense of basic reading, grammar,  and language skills. I strongly believe that we need to find a balance between technology and traditional methods of learning in order to ensure the academic success of our students.

It is imperative to limit the use of headphones for completing assignments and tests. This will not only improve our students’ ELA scores, but also equip them with essential reading and communication skills for their future academic and professional endeavors.

Marie Ryan

A resident of Irmo with six children either currently enrolled in Lexrich5 or already graduated.