Upper Arlington

Day of reckoning dawns for UA schools

To the Editor:

And so, a day of reckoning.

All of us read the clever idiom, "It's OK to say no (to the UA Schools levy)" promoted by Joyce Blake, treasurer for the anti-levy group. She and her cohorts claimed the quality of education in Upper Arlington would not change if the levy failed.

Tell that to the students who will now be in larger classes with less individualization. Tell that to our IB leaders, members of Intervention Services, paraprofessionals and other programs that have been cut and/or reduced for our students. Tell that to the one high school librarian who will now handle 1,800 students.

Tell that to my high school colleagues (with families) who are weeping in the halls over cuts and transfers. Tell that to the remaining teachers, all of whom will pick up 25-30 more students. (The grading of one composition takes about 15 minutes. Multiply that by 130.) Tell that to families who now will "pay (double what they were paying) to play."

Tell that to all of us who once believed we were special.

I have been employed at the high school for over 30 years. Let me tell you what the 21st century heralded in: individualized instruction, journals, portfolios, conferencing, multiple writing assignments with lengthy feedback, time for tutoring or counseling. Certainly, we can operate our schools like an assembly line. Some suburban schools run a 20th-century factory model with a modicum of success. Yet as I leave a fruitful career at UAHS, I see our progress disintegrating; everything is now in place to replicate only the most pedestrian of high schools in America.

We used to be "UA -- All the way!" Now we are at the mercy of taxpayers who chose to say, "UA -- Just OK."

It could not be a sadder day.

Betsy Miller
UAHS Language Arts Department

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