(Editors Note: This letter is in response to a letter mailed from the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District to elementary school parents in the district regarding test scores in math from the Ohio Department of Education. The two buildings did not meet Ohios goals in math. With this, it places the two elementary buildings on School Improvement status which requires the district to offer the parents a choice as to where they would like their child to attend school. The program was named, Public School Choice. The letter also stated that the school district is working on a three-year improvement plan to improve test scores in those buildings.)


This letter presented to the parents of East (grades K-1) and West (grades 2-5) elementary students on Aug. 15, 2011, was a shock to say the least.

This letter, in my opinion, sends two messages. Either teachers lack the ability to teach or the students lack the ability to learn, and we all know both of these messages are false. A child at grade levels K-1 and 2-5 have minds with learning ability to absorb like a sponge and are ready to learn anything presented unto them. So where is the problem?

I have five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews in Newcomerstown Schools, each with the ability to learn at the potential of a genius level. Parents placed those children in the trust of the school system to bring the maximum learning ability out of each of their children. And it would be totally unfair to blame young working parents, some working two and three jobs, trying to make ends meet, lacking the time, and perhaps the ability to teach their children at home.

Perhaps, someone should call Indian Valley or Ridgewood schools and ask what they are doing right and we are not.

And the very thought of transporting unlearned children from one district to another is just dumb. This letter from the school was received and parents had approximately two weeks to respond on the matter. I found it interesting that the program offered is titled, Public School Choice.

Most of the time, parents have no choice at all but when something as dumb as this comes up, all of a sudden parents, are given a choice. I realized this letter was sent from the Newcomerstown School District and was to be presented to parents. However, there should have bene a footnote added explaining this matter in more detail.

Voice from Appalachia,

Chester McVey